Overnight Open Thread (12-12-2013)
When forbearance wears thin towards constant liberal hate...
Usually, it's in a situation where the insult is just tossed into the flow of a conversation - almost always in a group setting where the perp feels emboldened - and then the conversation moves in other directions. The rude barb just becomes part of the landscape.
We've gone too long allowing a perjorative landscape.
It's why the most Senior Democrats feel free to call us the worst possible names and taunt us in a demeaning manner. They receive no pushback from our Senior politicians for the venom spewing from their mouths. We've become The Grand Old Punching Bag Party.
Compare the rude, vicious terms from Obama and his spokespeople, and Senior Democrats such as Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Nancy Pelosi and others, with the gentlemanly behavior of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.
There is plenty of push back and name-calling on both sides at lower levels and on the blogosphere, but it's qualitatively different when it comes from The White House and the Democratic Party House and Senate leadership.
When the leadership of the Republican Party does not push back against the leadership of the Democratic Party for the name-calling and taunts, it's an invitation to more attacks, and it sets a national tone.
We've become punching bags. At dinner and at the highest political levels.Social psychologists and police officers tend to agree that if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken. This is as true in nice neighborhoods as in rundown ones. Window-breaking does not necessarily occur on a large scale because some areas are inhabited by determined window-breakers whereas others are populated by window-lovers; rather, one unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, and so breaking more windows costs nothing.
What if you weren't so polite? What if you pushed back against every casual insult and made everyone just as uncomfortable as yourself? What if you refuse to accept even the minor broken windows of intolerance and hate?
There's a secret war being waged in Wisconsin, and the outcome could have national ramifications on free speech and the rule of law.
As first reported by Wisconsin Reporter in late October, a Democrat-led, secret probe now nearly two years in the making has targeted dozens of conservative organizations on the ground in the Badger State.
The so-called John Doe investigation, which one former Federal Elections Commission member said makes the "Alien and Sedition Act mild by comparison," has raised serious questions of partisanship and prosecutorial abuse.A Nov. 18 Wall Street Journal opinion piece, headlined "Wisconsin Political Speech Raid," reported at least three homes had been raided, and more than 100 subpoenas had been handed out - including one that demands "all records of income received, including fundraising information and the identity of persons contributing to the corporation."
The number of liberal groups investigated: 0.
There's a word for using the apparatus of the state against your political enemies and it starts with an 'F'.
And blames him for making Mandela turn to communism. Quite a feat given that the ANC was aligned with the Soviet Communist bloc since the 50s and Reagan wasn't elected until 1980 but then he was a great man.
Oh and you're all banned for raising your eyebrow like that.
Short version: Matthew Salesses is a sensitive little hothouse flower who had a sad in a class because feelings. But the university and professor didn't rearrange everything to make his sad go bye bye therefore Texas bad. Also you're racist and possibly a rapist.
You're a 19 year old kid. You're critically wounded, and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley , 11-14-1965, LZ X-ray, Vietnam. Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8 - 1, and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac helicopters to stop coming in.
You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns, and you know you're not getting out. Your family is half-way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you'll never see them again. As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day. Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter, and you look up to see an un-armed Huey, but it doesn't seem real, because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.
Ed Freeman is coming for you. He's not Medi-Vac, so it's not his job, but he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire, after the Medi-Vacs were ordered not to come.
He's coming anyway.
And he drops it in, and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 2 or 3 of you on board.
Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire, to the Doctors and Nurses.And, he kept coming back.. 13 more times... And took about 30 of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.
But it wasn't until 2001 that Ed Freeman was awarded the Medal of Honor. He may be unique in that he fought in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam and each time in a different capacity (sailor, then infantryman, and finally pilot ).
Because the warhead uranium is all used up.
Which reminds me - I need to order some more gallium off Ebay.
Quick - guess the country.
Yahoo group. That is all.
The group thingy. And the middle class.
And my Twitter spew.
Sign language for the ONT hearing and reading impaired provided by this guy:
And tonight's post brought to you by I'm outta here:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips plus $1 for S&H to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send your scraps to BizarroAce. Do not taunt happy-fun ball. Not for internal use. If you believe you may be pregnant, consult a doctor before reading the ONT. No horseplay in the pool area.
Close it up
Smartest. Administration. Ever!
The continuing PR push by the Health Insurance Salesman-in-Chief is providing some hilarity today.
First, behold the product of the left's 50-year experiment in improving our public schools:
Obamerica 2013: It's like Idiocracy, but with social media.
So it only made sense for Ted Cruz to come along and tell President Selfie to stop spraying Brawndo on everyone's health insurance.
But it has electrolytes, dammit! ...
Just announced on CNN--Politifact's "Lie of the Year" is Obama's statement "If you like your plan you can keep it."— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) December 12, 2013
Leftwing Hack Site PolitiFact Bends to Reality and Declares "If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan" as the Lie of the Year
PolitiFact has flacked for Obamacare for three years. In 2010, I believe, they declared the statement that Obamacare represented a national takeover of health insurance their Lie of the Year.
Lie of the Year, they said. While today we witness, every single day, new edicts issued from the Pontiff of the State about what insurers may not or must do. Not based on law, even. Just based on Obama's political needs in any particular day.
After previously declaring Obama's statement that "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan" to be True (they said "half true," but only because the insurance companies were not required to keep the promise that Obama made; Obama's promise was good, they reasoned, but he had no power to compel insurers to abide by it), they finally now reverse themselves.
For four of the past five years, PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year has revolved around the health care law, which has been subject to more erroneous attacks than any other piece of legislation PolitiFact has fact-checked.
Yes, PolitiFact has deemed most criticisms of Obamacare to be lies. Including the criticism that "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan" was a dishonest promise. They claimed that you could keep your plan under Obamacare.
And yet here we are, now calling that the Lie of the Year.
Obama’s ideas on health care were first offered as general outlines then grew into specific legislation over the course of his presidency. Yet Obama never adjusted his rhetoric to give people a more accurate sense of the law’s real-world repercussions, even as fact-checkers flagged his statements as exaggerated at best.
Um, no. PolitiFact said Obamacare guaranteed people could keep their policies. The only wiggle room was that insurers did not have to continue offering those policies. But if they were offered, PolitiFact assured us that Obamacare guaranteed people could keep them.
PolitiFact never bothered to check if Obamacare actually permitted them to be continued to be offered. In fact, Obamacare, and especially the regulations promulgated in furtherance of it, made many (most) such policies illegal.
This was the deliberate choice of Obama. He runs the HHS. He is Sebelius' boss. He chose to do this, and PolitiFact is still representing it as "something that just happened, and Obama just didn't adjust his rhetoric to changing events."
Obama, as the Chief Executive, is ultimately the author of HHS regulations. To this very day, he could instruct HHS to write new regulations permitting all the old policies to be be offered.
He won't. Because he always intended to screw current insurance-holders over. That's what you do when you redistribute wealth.
He did build this. He did made that happen.
Now, back to PolitiFact, making excuses for why Obama lied:
Instead, he fought back against inaccurate attacks with his own oversimplifications, which he repeated even as it became clear his promise was too sweeping.
The debate about the health care law rages on, but friends and foes of Obamacare have found one slice of common ground: The president’s "you can keep it" claim has been a real hit to his credibility.
It's also been a real hit to PolitiFact's credibility. What a fucking joke.
Tidbit: When I write posts, I look for something pithy to use as the link-language. Like if I'm writing that Obama's a douche, I'll write:
How big of a douche is Obama?
So "This big" is the linking language.
Anyway, when I was writing this post, I began writing it, as is my wont, without reading it. I only saw the headline that PolitiFact's Lie of the Year was IYLYPYCKP. (I'm tired of writing out "If you like your plan...").
I need some link language for linking the post. I wrote something like "PolitiFact now declares IYLYPYCKYP Lie of the Year," and needed some link language for the link.
So I wrote "Sort of."
Why? Because I guessed they only sort of admitted this was the lie of the year, based on all their previous shilling for Obamacare, and based upon their claiming IYLYPYCKYP was True, and never retracting that rating.
But I didn't yet know if they had done a "sort of" job. I figured if I was wrong, I'd rewrite it as "Even PolitiFact, which usually shills so hard for Obama...."
Of course I didn't have to. Within one minute of reading their tendentious "analysis" -- analysis that claims that Republicans lodged false attacks on Obamacare, such as you not being able to keep your policy, which forced Obama to guarantee you would keep your policy, even though, actually, you couldn't keep your policy at all so these weren't false attacks -- I saw they had in fact done a "sort of" admission that Obama had lied.
Or at least that his promise was "wrong," as PolitiFact writes.
You know, a "wrong promise." That's completely normal English right there. It's not as if PolitiFact is writing in non-standard English to avoid using the typical words we use to describe a "wrong promise."
Flashback, PolitiFact October 7th, 2008 (via @verumserum):
"No. 1, let me just repeat, if you've got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it," Obama said. "All I'm going to do is help you to lower the premiums on it. You'll still have choice of doctor."
It remains to be seen whether Obama's plan will actually be able to achieve the cost savings it promises for the health care system. But people who want to keep their current insurance should be able to do that under Obama's plan. His description of his plan is accurate, and we rate his statement True.
And He Spake That They Should Be Deemed To Be Covered, And It Was So. And It Was Good.
On the podcast over the past few weeks, we've been talking about what happens on January 1st, when people start showing up in emergency rooms due to car accidents or sudden medical crises, and discover they're not actually covered, either because they couldn't sign up at all, or didn't get the check to the insurer in time, or thought, erroneously, that health care was "free."
@johnekdahl ventured a guess: Maybe Obama would just create New Law once again and demand that insurers deem the uninsured to be insured.
It seemed to only be on the outermost fringes of the possible... and yet, as the Day of Catastrophe and Crisis approaches, the Administration seems to be thinking more and more about the Unthinkable Solution.
During the Obamacare rollout, stories have spread about millions of Americans losing their current health insurance coverage, preferred doctors and hospitals as plans restrict networks to comply with the law, and losing their prescription drug coverage.
On Thursday afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services said it was “strongly encouraging” insurers to help the department fix a raft of problems created by the rocky rollout of President Obama’s health care law.
Among the guidance the HHS announced:
— It is requiring insurers to accept payments until Dec. 31 for coverage starting on Jan. 1.
That's absurd and illegal. They need time to actually have the check clear the bank to actually be paid. But Obama has spoken, and it shall be so.
It is also “urging” insurers to give individuals more time beyond that to pay for coverage.
If you want insurance to begin January 1st, you can pay, like, whenever.
In other words, if somebody pays for coverage in the middle of January, HHS is asking insurers to retroactively make that person's coverage effective as of Jan. 1. HHS is also asking insurers to cover individuals who offer a "down payment," even if that payment only covers part of the first month's premiums.
They go further-- after having imposed "skinny network" coverage on America, the HHS is now "strongly encouraging" (again) insurers to pay for doctors outside of the network. That is, pay for non-network doctors.
So that people don't realize (at least at first) that they will not be keeping their doctor at all.
On a conference call, an HHS spokeswoman emphasized: “We are just proposing it as an option and we’re encouraging issuers. There is no requirement.”
Translation: HHS has a huge mess on its hands and it hopes that by getting ahead of this news, it can foist the blame for the problems on insurers.
This is all very close to simply ordering insurers to "deem" that everyone is insured, as John speculated. It seems that way to Phillip Klein, anyway:
At this point HHS may as well ask insurers to simply declare everybody in America covered http://t.co/G1VyAv1hcg— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) December 12, 2013
AllahPundit notes that many insurers are complying with the "strong encouragement" of the government shakedown artists, and are creating a special grace period for payment, until early January. Some states are ordering grace periods until January 7, 8, or even 15.
That’ll avert lapses in coverage for people who see the doctor early next month, not realizing that their first payment was already due by New Year’s Eve. Remember, though, according to one expert who spoke to Charles Ornstein about this, insurers can probably expect only half of their customers to have paid up by the December 31st deadline. Even if another 25 percent manage to make payment during the grace period, you’re still looking at thousands of people whose coverage will lapse in January. That’s a political disaster for HHS in the making. Uncle Sam will have to do something about it. But what?
Deem everyone covered. What else can he do?
Only about half of the people "covered" by Obamacare will have paid by January 1st -- this is largely Obama's fault, of course, because how the hell could they have bought insurance with a non-functioning site?
And there's still more work to be done -- all those fragged 834s will have to be corrected and reconciled by human intervention before tens of thousands of other people are even noted in an insurers' client list.
And Obama won't want to take the political hit for that. So just deem everyone covered.
Just like that. Just make a pronouncement. Just create law by kingly edict.
We are approaching the nation's Monarchical Moment.
Man Who Complained of Cancelled Insurance Policy Was Soon After Audited By the IRS;
Health Care Freedom Activist Helps Him Get His Policy Restored, and Now Finds Himself Being Audited As Well
When I first heard the cancer patient who complained of getting his health care policy cancelled was being audited -- for ten year old returns -- I didn't cover it.
It's not because I didn't suspect Obama's minions of harassing their opponents. I did. But I didn't cover it because I figured there was no way to prove it. Audits happen, after all, and I'm sure anyone willing to harass a political opponent is also willing to fake up some paperwork showing the audit was random or based on some acceptable legal reason.
But now I find out that it wasn't just the cancer patient who suddenly had the IRS alert and curious and on the case -- it was also his advocate, an insurance salesman and Obamacare critic who was helping the man get his hold policy back.
This man was also suddenly being asked questions by the IRS -- mostly about his trouble-making client.
It is unavoidable; it is open and shut; it is a serious political scandal. The fact that two men who came forward to criticize Obama are both hit with a snap IRS inspection days after making their complaints public can simply not be attributed to chance.
There is a principle in law: res ipsa loquitor. "The thing speaks for itself." In some cases, you don't have to prove an element of a tort, if it is obvious, based on circumstances, that wrongdoing has in fact occurred.
It is deliberate. It is, in fact, conspiracy.
Read the whole thing. It's shocking. They're not even hiding it any longer: Citizens who dissent from government policy will be subject to harassment by the government's law enforcement and para-law-enforcement shock troops.
I'm going to skip a bit about how, specifically, this man, Stephen C. Tucker helped the cancer survivor, Bill Elliot, get his insurance back. It's worth reading but I can't quote the whole thing.
Let's get to the part where Tucker announces his Intent to Cause Trouble.
My goal is to inform every American who has had their policy canceled about this law and instruct them on how to use it to get their policy restored. Since this story broke I have been in contact with the organization representing Whitney Johnson and I have been in direct contact with Eileen and Steve Benthal. Whitney is a 26 year old single mother who has been featured in the news. Whitney has multiple sclerosis and she had her policy illegally canceled as well.
It is immoral, illegal, and unconscionable that Barack Obama's administration would instruct her insurer to cancel her health insurance coverage and force her to accept an Obamacare compliant "Medal" plan which will increase her premium by $1,000 a month and remove Johanna's access to her current hospital and doctor. This, after Barack Obama promised over and over and over again, 'If you like your plan you can keep your plan and no one will take it away from you, period.' Barack Obama is a pathological liar and innocent, sick Americans are now suffering because of his lies.
So there's his crime: Speaking ill of the New Messiah and using legal and proper means to get people's cancellations overturned.
And here's his punishment:
When we had some Q and A, a few days ago, you were about to be visited by a representative of the IRS, on Friday, December 6th. Who asked for that meeting? Did the IRS say what they wanted to meet about, before it occurred?
Tucker: Yes, Treasury Inspector General Robert Williams made an unannounced visit to my old office in Palatine on December 4th, 2013....
When I hung up the phone. I immediately called my attorney. He then connected me on a three way phone call to William J. Sneckenberg, Esq., Senior Litigation Attorney and Appellate Specialist at the Sneckenberg, Thompson, and Brody law firm in Chicago. After hearing the story, Mr. Sneckenberg said it was 'highly irregular' for the IRS to be sending a letter of demand for a tax return that was filed more than a decade ago. Normally, the look back period is anywhere from 3 to 5 years. He then said he wanted to be in my home to represent me when Treasury Inspector General Williams arrived.
On Friday morning Mr. Sneckenberg arrived and reviewed the letters of demand from the IRS and then contacted his CPA. His CPA also agreed that this is highly irregular. Then Treasury Inspector General Williams arrived with an associate. He showed me his business card and his badge and then sat down to begin his inquisition of sorts during which he and his associate took copious notes. To my surprise his questions were not designed to find out why I was sent the letters of demand but more to find out more about me and even more surprisingly my new friend Bill Elliott.
He asked for Bill Elliott's phone number twice. I did not give him Mr. Elliott's phone number. He then asked for a timeline of events. He asked 'How did you first meet Bill? What law did you use to help him get his policy restored? What television program did he appear on?' etc....
And, then at the end of his line of questioning he made sure to tell me that 'you need to resolve these issues with the IRS, if not, as you may be aware, you may be visited again by other IRS representatives in your home and we do reserve the right to garnish your wages and lien your assets.' Mr. Sneckenberg and I then wished them a Happy Holiday and showed them both the door.
After they left and whilst the exhaust from their government vehicle was still lingering in my driveway I received a knock on the door from my post man who had in his hands a certified letter from the IRS. That letter stated 'Intent to seize your property or rights to property. Amount due immediately $2,106.05.' If you do not call us immediately or pay the amount due by December 19, 2013, we will seize ("levy") your property or rights to property and apply it to the $2,106.05 you owe.'
This supposed amount they are demanding payment for is for the year 2010, where they state I did not file my W2s. My tax documents are prepared by a licensed CPA and are done correctly each year. If I had not filed my W2s I would not have been able to complete my 2010 corporate and personal tax returns which are sitting right next to me as I write you these responses. My CPA and my attorney are completely baffled by both the 2010 demand and the 2003 demand for $3,592.19.
Considering the very real connections with Bill Elliott in this series of events and his audit and its timing and your subsequent series of contacts by the IRS, what do you draw from their behavior toward you each?
Tucker: I feel a bit like Catherine Englebrecht right now. Catherine and her husband are Tea Party patriots who were systematically targeted by the IRS, ATF, FBI, and OSHA for a 'long train of abuses' over a three year period in what is arguably the most egregious abuse of this administration's power over law abiding citizens as of yet on record.
After listening to Lois Lerner plead the 5th during congressional testimony and then conveniently 'retiring' early and then listening to the IRS chief counsel use the term 'I don't recall,' no less than 80 times during congressional testimony, I no longer believe in coincidences. I believe Bill and I are both being targeted for exercising our first amendment rights by accurately criticizing Barack Obama's disastrous health care law.
Yeah, I'm believing less in coincidences myself these days.
Close it up
Press No Longer Believing Claims That Obama's Administration is the "Most Transparent In History"
Comically Evasive Mouthpiece Jay Carney attempted to claim that it was perfectly normal to claim an event was "private," and thus no press was permitted, and yet also send a White House propaganda photographer there to take pictures to be distributed publicly via social media and OFA emails.
One reporter insists that the Obama Administration is less transparent than the Bush Administration. Her colleagues seem to agree with her claim.
Carney's claim is that the Internet-- the "transformation" of the news by the Internet -- has forced Obama to engage in deception and propaganda.
No, Jay. It's merely allowed him to do so. And this White House has seized that opportunity with relish.
He goes on to claim that Obama only does this in order to provide "free" pictures to the public -- he doesn't want to force people to buy newspapers, you see.
He doesn't explain why both White House and press photographers can be present at "private" events, so that there will be both a free picture and a picture people have to pay for (by buying a newspaper).
There's a logical reason why he doesn't explain this: It's because he's lying.
Check the video at Mediaite. Worth watching.
Thanks to @johnekdahl.
Honey Trap: Dozens of G20 Diplomats Get Hacked After They Click on a Link Promising Naked Pictures of Carla Bruni
This sounds like a funny story. It's not, quite: Hackers successfully breached dozens of computers (and maybe more than dozens).
The level of damage has not been figured out yet -- and this all happened in 2011.
The suspected culprit? China.
These are our "Best and Brightest" -- or at least they always tell us so.
It should be noted that Carla Bruni took her clothes off a lot when she was younger, so Naked Carla Bruni pictures should not be considered some Holy Grail of Nudity. These people could have just Binged for pictures.
But instead they clicked on a sketchy attachment, and got hacked.
Nude pictures of former French first lady Carla Bruni were used to break in to the computer systems of dozens of diplomats, it emerged today.
The shocking security breach was first discovered at the G20 summit in Paris in February 2011 and may be ongoing.
‘To see naked pictures of Carla Bruni click here’ said a message sent to those attending, who included finance ministers and central bank representatives.
This prompted many to open an attachment which turned out to be a ‘Trojan Horse’ with an embedded virus, although all recipients could see were the X-rated photographs.
Once accessed, it infected the computers of senior officials as well as forwarding the offensive email on to others.
‘Almost everybody who received the email took the bait,’ said a government source in Paris, saying that this included representatives from the Czech Republic, Portugal, Bulgaria, Hungary and Latvia.
The so-called phishing attacks are thought to have originated in China and were aimed at extracting information.
The attacks are still being investigated, and nobody is yet sure what information was extracted.
America is thought to have been the main target of the scam.
The arrogance of our non-elite elites is a serious danger to Western democracy and security.
Draw and Strike considers this danger, suggesting Obamacare is the bonfire of the progressive New Class' vanities.
Not that they've noticed. They still think they're doin' just fine.
HOW OBAMACARE DESTROYS SELF-ANOINTED ELITES ILLUSION OF COMPETENCY
The biggest damage from the developing ObamaCare trainwreck is to the carefully crafted illusion that progressives have worked so hard to create for the past several decades: that Big Government self-anointed elites in Washington DC are competent super-managers of sterling character who can be trusted with an ever-increasing amount of power and control over the lives of citizens.
The Washington Post obtained a memo that detailed the White House in-fighting over how ObamaCare should be implemented. The memo goes over the struggle within the administration between what it dubs 'the economics team', who argued for bringing in private sector specialists with experience at start ups and complex problem solving of the magnitude that the ACA called for, and the 'political team' who wanted fast implementation by it's own in-house political staffers who fully believed they were up to the job.
When the political team won the debate, many members of the economics team, such as Larry Summers and Christina Roemer, jumped ship to avoid the looming disaster they saw coming. Recent developments have shown their decision was prescient. The political team that thought itself supremely competent to launch something of the size and scope of the ACA despite having had no such prior experience has now been exposed as totally inadequate.
As the scope of the abject failures involved in ObamaCare's implementation mount, even the die-hard Old media completely in the tank as propaganda arms of the DNC have to shake their head in bewilderment at how they are going to spin a disaster this obvious.
Thanks to Andy, @theh2.
By the way, to spare you the trouble of searching: If you really want to see Carla Bruni naked, click here.
I'm good like that.
The Secret War of Cats on Dogs, Part II: Stealing the Dog-Bed
The first post, about cats refusing to let dogs pass on stairs or in hallways, only scratched the surface.
Feline aggression against dogs extends right to the heart of dog existence: To their fluffy dog-beds.
This aggression must not stand.
Thanks to @ninjim.
Close it up
"You Make a Great Point There:" MSNBC Has Unexpected Take on Coverage of Obama's Funeral Selfie
Did you say "sexist" or "racist"?
Well either way, you're right: It's both.
The first woman to offer this assessment -- that the discussion is "racist" and "sexist" -- is identified by Mediaite as being an MSNBC reporter. Not one of their many, many, many opinion-spewing talking heads, but a reporter.
So at MSNBC, even the "reporters" are quick to report racist attacks on Obama.
They are literally claiming that you cannot criticize Obama or Michele at all, or else you're racist. (If it's Michele, you're racist and sexist too.)
I would like people to start reversing the question on these people. I'd like them to start being asked, "What criticism, if any, of Obama would you consider fair?" Force them to give us a list of criticisms we are allowed to lodge at the SCOAMFOTUS, or else make them confess that they deem all criticism racist and out of bounds.
Make them say it. Make them own their absurdity.
@johnekdahl noted that after Obama yucked it up with the comely Danish PM, and after Michele had seemed to stare daggers at the pair, Michele and Obama changed seats, so that Michelle now sat between the Danish PM and Obama. As if she wanted to separate them.
And for that observation, he was called racist and sexist in the Guardian.
He was also identified as being "the media." But whatever.
It's just too ridiculous. They literally have nothing else to say-- no defense of Obama's myriad failures, no real argument that he's achieved anything at all. From here on out, it's just racism, sexism, and racism forever.
Tangentially Related: Some people made parody "SomeECards" -- "SomeDCards," expressing progressive ideas.
Party and pillage at unoccupied mansion coordinated on social media
A mounted snow leopard worth more than $250,000, pieces of armor and designer clothes were among the items recovered by sheriff’s detectives investigating a party planned over social media and held, without the owner's knowledge, at a vacant, multimillion-dollar La Habra Heights mansion.A similar incident happened earlier this year to a retired NFL player.
[Updated at 7:21 p.m., Dec. 11: Early Wednesday, 16 people were arrested in connection with the vandalism and robbery that occurred at the home in late November, Lt. Arthur Scott of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said....
About 300 teenagers are realizing they picked the wrong place to throw a wild party after breaking into a former NFL player's second home and causing more than $20,000 in damage.Open thread
Brian Holloway, a former offensive tackle for the New England Patriots, was in Tampa, Florida, over Labor Day weekend when his son told him he was receiving tweets about a party at their home in Stephentown, New York, Holloway said...
Thursday Morning News Dump
- Man With Critically Ill Son Gives Up On Healthcare.gov After More Than 50 Tries
- Norman Podhoretz: Strike Iran Now To Avert A Disaster Later
- DHS Finally Fires Employee Who Calls For Mass Murder Of Whites
- RNC Plans Changes To Primary Debates
- Hill Staffers Warned Not To Rely On Info From Obamacare Exchange
- Spooks Off The Leash
- George Bush Sent Alabama's Kicker A Handwritten Note
- New Asiana Crash Footage Shows Plane's 360 Degree Spin
- Colleges Can't Ban Guns, Rules Florida Court In Major 2nd Amendment Victory
- Apparently A Hallucinating Schizophrenic Was Allowed To Stand Next To Obama At The Mandela Memorial
- Meet The Littlest Casualty In The War On Men
- Woman Gets Ridiculously Drunk In Freezing Weather With Expected Results
- Dog Helps Save Owner's Life
- Domestic Violence Charges Dropped Against Zimmerman
- How To Beat A Photo Enforced Ticket
- MLB To Ban Home Plate Collisions?
- Celebrity Hypocrites
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Top Headline Comments (12-12-2013)
We can haz morning thread?
The sign language interpreter at the Mandela memorial service claims he was having a schizophrenic episode.
Rich Lowry on the left's reality problem.
Paul Ryan on the House GOP leadership's reality problem.
Contra Ryan's claims in the piece linked above, Sean Davis writes at The Federalist: Don’t Be Fooled: The Murray/Ryan Budget Deal Clearly Raises Taxes. Davis has the better argument, and I'm in thorough agreement with his conclusion:
Had top Republicans pitched this deal as the best way to avoid blame for another shutdown (even it the shutdown was solely the fault of Democrats who refused to abide by the sequestration law President Obama signed in 2011), I would have been somewhat sympathetic. I still wouldn’t like the deal, but that rationale would at least have the benefit of being intellectually honest.
But Ryan and his allies in GOP leadership need to stop insulting the intelligence of their voters by expecting them to suddenly forget the meanings of certain words. GOP leaders have a serious and widening credibility gap with their base. Dishonest, Orwellian word games are only going to make matters worse.
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Two Americas - being wealthy is now a quasi-disability that can get you off the hook for homicide
It works like this - you're a wealthy young punk with no restraint or ability to see consequences, but see -- its your parents who did that to you so its not really your fault that 4 people are dead because you stole beer, got drunk and mowed them down, so we're gonna give you probation.
...Couch’s attorneys argued his parents were responsible for the teen’s actions that night because of the way he had been raised. Defense attorneys put a psychologist on the stand who testified Couch was a product of wealth and got whatever he wanted. The psychologist also testified the teen was allowed to drink at a very young age and began driving at 13 years old. Defense attorneys argued Couch needed treatment, not jail and suggested a facility that costs almost half a million dollars a year...So, the reward for living a life of no consequences and leaving a trail of dead bodies in your wake is to reinforce the attitude that there are no consequences.
If anyone thinks a poor kid with meth head parents, who provided an equally irresponsible upbringing, who did the same thing would be getting off with probation and a posh $500,000/yr treatment facility, raise your hand. Anyone?
The prosecutors wanted 20 years in prison, but 5 probably would have gotten the point across to this kid, and his parents. Now, both the kid and parents are walking away believing they can literally buy their way out of almost any crime. THAT is a lesson they will probably take to heart.
Overnight Open Thread (12-11-2013)
As an adolescent, I loved to read the science fiction magazine Analog. One of my favorite Analog stories was "Hindsight" by Harry Turtledove. (I still have my copy of this "special spoof issue," dated mid-December 1984, in my garage.)
In "Hindsight," a 1950s pulp sci-fi writer is startled to discover that an unknown author has published a story that remarkably resembles one he had in the planning stages. He and his editor investigate, eventually discovering a woman who reveals she's a sci-fi writer from the future who has returned to the 1950s-all the way from 1983!-to try to change the world through science fiction.
...But my favorite thing about the story is a scene in which the writer from the future ushers the two men into her back room, where she keeps her future technology. There's a 1980s-era word processor and a dot-matrix printer, charmingly outmoded from the vantage point of 2013 but stunning to the men in the story. And in the corner, a top-loading VCR attached to a small color TV set. She plays Star Wars for the writer, and he's flabbergasted-not just by the color picture, but by a recognizable-yet-aged Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
...I can't be the only person who thinks about this stuff. (I mean, Marty McFly's Walkman!) So I mentioned it on Twitter and suddenly found myself in a discussion about what Apple device you'd want to take back in time from today to blow away those sci-fi writers in 1956. (If you're interested, I've saved the whole thing on Storify.)The iPad is probably the right answer, assuming you had time to prepare. (Be sure to bring a charger!) The tablet would be shockingly small, but it has a nice, big screen-big enough for a bunch of dumbstruck 50s denizens to crowd around. It also has the capacity to hold a staggering amount of content.
One of the mental games I play whenever I'm stuck someplace without anything or anybody to occupy me is to imagine that I was suddenly transported back to say 1959 with only what I'm holding and what's in my pockets. How would I be able to prove that I truly was from the future and how much information could clever investigators glean from the few objects on my person?
Well the dates on any coins or bills would be a big clue - and (assuming they aren't clever Commie fakes) would tell them right off the bat that we were still around 50 years later so probably no nuclear WWIII. The tags on my clothes would also be some evidence although I wonder what they would think of all the 'Made in China' labels - did we defeat and occupy China somewhere along the way?
My Jeep car keys with their radio-based remote control would probably impress them - especially the mysterious ICs used in the circuits. The high tech Swiss Army knife I always carry with a laser, pen, and USB stick would probably both amaze and baffle them. And then you have the unusual alloys in my watch and plastic products in my shoes and clothing. I figure all that plus my dental work would be enough to convince them that whatever my story is I'm definitely 'not from around here'.
And if I happen to have my iPhone with me....well then behold and fear my techo-magic all you puny twentieth century humans!!
Today in America, we see two kinds of libertarianism, which we might call "Calhounian" and "Heinleinian." Both kinds believe in freedom, but they are very different in their emphasis-and in their politics.
The names behind the adjectives are John C. Calhoun (1782-1850), of South Carolina, and Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988 ), of California. In other words, two different states, two different centuries-and two very different outlooks.
...Finally, the two groups are wired differently. Calhounians are often rooted in place, and feel both constrained and liberated by tradition and belief.On the other hand, the Heinleinians, tech-oriented as they are, tend to feel emancipated from the past. We might consider one of the central activities of a modern techster: computer coding.
Well Heinleinian libertarianism may be sexier at the moment but the Calhounian version has a stronger Burkean pedigree of existence and is more likely to survive in adverse conditions. After all who doesn't want the most freedom for their own kith and kin?
Never have I seen Israel and America's core Arab allies working more in concert to stymie a major foreign policy initiative of a sitting U.S. president, and never have I seen more lawmakers - Democrats and Republicans - more willing to take Israel's side against their own president's. I'm certain this comes less from any careful consideration of the facts and more from a growing tendency by many American lawmakers to do whatever the Israel lobby asks them to do in order to garner Jewish votes and campaign donations.
Fairly good advice and even the 'douchey' ones are more right than wrong.
People are tired of you being the funny, drunk guy. When in doubt, always kiss the girl. Always carry cash. Keep some in your front pocket. Never stay out after midnight three nights in a row. Unless something really good comes up on the third night. It's better if old men cut your hair. Ask for Sammy at the Mandarin Oriental Barbershop in Hong Kong. He can share his experiences of the Japanese occupation, or just give you a copy of Playboy. There's always another level. Just be content knowing that you are still better off than most who have ever lived. You can get away with a lot more if you're the one buying the drinks.
Like all predators muggers consistently choose victims who are the most vulnerable even if the muggers can't say exactly why.
A small number of criminals commit most of the crimes, and the crimes they commit are spread unevenly over the population: some unfortunate individuals seem to be picked out repeatedly by those intent on violent assault. Back in the 1980s, two psychologists from New York, Betty Grayson and Morris Stein, set out to find out what criminals look for in potential victims. They filmed short clips of members of the public walking along New York's streets, and then took those clips to a large East Coast prison. They showed the tapes to 53 violent inmates with convictions for crimes on strangers, ranging from assault to murder, and asked them how easy each person would be to attack.
The prisoners made very different judgements about these notional victims. Some were consistently rated as easier to attack, as an "easy rip-off". There were some expected differences, in that women were rated as easier to attack than men, on average, and older people as easier targets than the young. But even among those you'd expect to be least easy to assault, the subgroup of young men, there were some individuals who over half the prisoners rated at the top end of the "ease of assault" scale (a 1, 2 or 3, on the 10 point scale).
I blame the French and academics with a Latin fetish.
Over the last 500 years, there's been a continuing effort to standardize all spelling -- and a lot of the stuffy academic types making the rules made a real mess of it. In the 16th century, the people putting together dictionaries decided to insert a "b" into "debt" and "doubt" to remind everyone that they had evolved from the Latin word "debitum" -- even though the preferred spellings, "dette" and "doute," made way more sense. But hey, at least the common man would forever be reminded of precious Latin, thus ensuring that it would never become a dead langua- oh wait, no, it died more completely than an engineer on the away team, didn't it? The academics did the exact same thing with "receipt" (then spelled "receit," but drawn from the Latin word "recepta" ) and smugly smirked down at generations of dyslexics accidentally writing "recipe."
Over who hates infidels more and who is less rapey.
But with the annual release of the FBI's hate crime numbers, statistical proof is once again available for those who are interested in the real answer as to which groups are subjected to the most attacks. This year's numbers, like those of every other previous year since they began compiling such statistics, are clear: Jews remain the No. 1 target of hate crimes in America and no other group comes even close. Incidents involving Muslims, who are, according to the unchallenged meme that is central to every story or broadcast about the subject, the prime targets actually suffer only a fraction as much as Jews. Is it too much to ask reporters who regurgitate the same tired, unproven story lines about Muslims in the coming year to take these facts into account?
The actual number of hate crimes involving a muslim victim per year: 130. Which is miniscule compared to the population of the US and on par with the number of reported anti-Muslim hate crimes pre-9/11.
Le AoSHQ groupe de Yahoo. Ooh la la!
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Ryan Deal Includes Procedural Gift to Harry Reid, Permitting Him to Raise Taxes on a Simple Majority Vote, Rather than Requiring 60 Votes
What the hell, Paul Ryan.
Senate Republicans scrubbing the Ryan-Murray budget deal have come across a little-noticed provision that will limit the GOP’s ability to block tax increases in future years.
The bill includes language from the Senate Democrats’ budget to void a budget “point of order” against replacing the sequester cuts with tax increases.
The process is quite complicated, but in practice it grants Harry Reid the authority to send tax increases to the House with a bare majority, rather than the 60 vote threshold that would be required under the point of order.
The provision has angered key Republican Senators. Reeling from Harry Reid’s unprecedented use of the “nuclear option” to end the filibuster on presidential nominations, they are incredulous that Paul Ryan would have backed another limit to their power.
“This is an appalling power grab that should never have been allowed to be in a final agreement. It’s essentially the ‘nuclear option’ part two, eroding minority rights in the Senate even further. Harry Reid must be very happy,” a Senate GOP aide says.
A House aide defending this piece of shit says, basically, Eh, it's no big deal, because the House can stop tax increases. Probably.
I don't know what to say.
Thanks to @rdbrewer4.
Merry Christmas From President Self-Regard
The Ryan/Murray Budget Deal Is... Awful
But you knew that.
There is one good thing I've heard about it and one neutral thing.
The good thing: The compromise calls for federal workers to pay more for their pensions. That is terrific. Update: Not so terrific. MTF writes:
Small point Ace, but the increased worker contribution to federal pensions applies only to new employees. It's still a revolutionary change, but the budget impact is delayed.
The neutral thing: The additional tax for airline travel that they're calling a "user fee" rather than a tax does seem like it can be fairly characterized as a user fee. Cavuto had a guy on explaining that a fee of $2.50 per ticket per leg was imposed in 2002, to partially defray the costs of the huge new TSA security system.
However, that didn't cover all of TSA's costs, and TSA actually costs more now than it did five years ago. Despite the fact that less people are actually traveling, due to Obama's Endless Recession.
So, calling it a "user's fee" does not seem to abuse the language. It actually does pay for the costs the user is directly incurring.
It might be better to cut back on the TSA -- in fact, I'm pretty sure it would be. But this small item doesn't seem to be a Gigantic Lie, like the ones Obama likes to tell.
The new charge will be a flat $5.60, but that won't (if Cavuto's guy had this right, which I'm not sure he did) be per leg of a trip. So the actual increased cost for a two-way flight might be only $0.60.
Update: The Wall Street Journal has the facts straight:
The feds currently charge $2.50 on nonstop flights, and $5 for flights with a connection, and the deal will establish a simple $5.60 fee for all one-way trips regardless of the number of connections. The fees will be passed along to passengers in higher ticket costs.
So you'll be charged an extra $2.50 per flight on nonstops and an extra $0.60 on flights with a connection.
Now for the bad stuff.
Here's the first and most important gimmick. Paul Ryan is claiming, "Hey man, how can you say I'm abandoning my principles? This compromise actually cuts the deficit by a further $28 billion (over ten years) than the current plan!!! So this actually cuts more spending than the current, sequester-bound spending levels!"
Yeah that approaches Gigantic Lie territory. Here's how they can spend more in the next year and then claim their compromise actually saves more money over ten years:
They spend more in the years they care about, 2014 and 2015. For these years, they increase spending by a total of $63 billion.
But currently, the sequester-capped spending levels would expire in 2021 (it was set to run from 2011 to 2021). So what Ryan says is "Now we'll also impose sequester-caps on the out years of 2022 and 2023, so that's two more years under the sequester, so we actually wind up cutting more spending!"
You can see the problem. They're not willing to abide by the terms of the sequester in 2014 and 2015. They want to spend more. So they undo the sequester caps in 2014 and 2015, and then pretend to extend the sequester from 2021 to 2023.
Instead of abiding by the sequester in the two following years, they'll abandon it in the two years we're actually about to pass into, and promise -- swearsies! -- they'll abide by it later.
This is obviously nonsense. First of all, it establishes the precedent of ducking the sequester forever. Two years from now, they'll vote to spend more money, but say "Over ten years, we're lowering the deficit, by extending the sequester from 2023 to 2025!!!"
No you're not. To spend less money, you have to, at some point, spend less money. If you keep delaying the day you actually start spending less money, you'll never spend less money.
This is like someone putting off going on a diet forever but promising "When I do go on the diet, I'll stay on it for a really really really long time!"
At some point, you have to actually go on the diet if you want to lose weight. Paul Ryan's plan just says, "Eh, we'll get in shape two years from now."
Even worse than all that is this heartbreaking chart from Reason, which shows federal spending unrestrained by the sequester (that is, what the government had planned to spend) versus the lower spending under the sequester.
This is the end of the world scenario we're working so hard to undo, Guys:
You see that teeny, tiny difference in sequester and non-sequester spending? That little difference is what we're now reduced to fighting over. That insignificant bit.
Even that pittance of savings is too much, too controversial, too politically dangerous to touch. So even that ludicrously small amount of savings must be undone by the Republican Party, because we just can't win elections when we're making draconian cuts like that.
But once the GOP is in control of all branches of government, then they'll start getting serious about putting the government on a diet.
Joe Biden: You Know, I'm Sort of an Illegal Immigrant
He announces that his great-grandparents didn't all come into America legally. I guess this is Joe Biden's way of saying "Behold, the wonders of illegal immigration."
I'm not taking it that way.
I'm thinking we should have built a Border Wall in 1875, if that's what it would have taken to keep the embarrassing Biden clan out.
I'm also taking it as Biden's desperate attempt at relevance. He's practically begging us, "Please demand to see my birth certificate!!!"
“My great-great grandparents came escaping the famine and they didn’t all come here legally,” Biden said in response to a questioner who said her family came to the country legally from Ireland in the 1800s. “They didn’t all come legally. And the existence of the system isn’t all truncated like it is now. I’d check your ancestry to make sure that they did come legally if that’s a concern to you.”
Biden, who appeared alongside White House domestic policy chief Cecilia Munoz, several times called on House Speaker John Boehner to allow a vote on the comprehensive immigration reform bill the Senate passed in June.
It was a shift from President Barack Obama, who said last month that he could live with the House passing a series of piecemeal immigration bills.
“Pass the bill, John Boehner, bring the bill up and let us pass it,” Biden said.
The Huffington Post's Political Team Is About As White As You Would Have Guessed
The leftist media's perennial attack on conservatives are that they are well-nigh exclusively white and draw their values and political beliefs from a narrow monoculture of shared racial and cultural mores.
Yeah. A lot of that goin' 'round.
Top Ten Things That Are Almost As White As the Huffington Post's Political Team
10. Matchy-matchy group-themed seasonal sweaters
9. A vanilla milkshake infused with white chocolate and cocaine
8. People who are still watching Agents of SHIELD
7. Three quarters of Hall & Oates
6. People who really like Kanye West from that interview they heard on NPR
5. Joan Walsh's entire dating history; also, the periodic bouts of milky smegma occurring over the course Joan Walsh's dating history
4. People who watched that video of the guy faking Sign Language at Nelson Mandela's funeral and became outraged at the racism this man must have faced in Africa to drive him to commit fraud
3. LL Bean's new, ill-advised clothing line, the Kasual Khaki Kollection
2. The victim profile of the many children that Harry Reid has strangled
...and the number one thing almost as white as the HuffPo Politics staff...
That video thanks to @iowahawkblog.
Close it up
Mary Landrieu Begins Running Anti-Obamacare Ad
From @rdbrewer4 in the sidebar.
Now, understand, she's not calling for the repeal of Obamacare, certainly. She's trying to "fix" it.
But her ad begins like an ad you'd expect from a Republican -- alarming news reports of hundreds of thousands of people having their coverage cancelled by Obamacare.
It ends with an admonition to Obama: "You made this promise, you should keep it."
The ad of course is dishonest. It's fakey-fake triangulation, as Landrieu pretends to run against Obamacare. You'd almost think she was the anti-Obamacare Republican candidate in the race.
But it is something to think about: In many states around the country, as we approach 2014, we'll be seeing Republicans running anti-Obamacare ads, and their Democratic opponents running anti-Obamacare ads, too.
And what exactly will that do to public opinion? I don't know of many previous progressive/conservative disputes in which the representatives of both camps condemned a major law. The airwaves will be full of condemnations of Obamacare, and virtually no one speaking up in favor of it.
Funniest Story You'll Read This Week
The official sign-language guy at the Nelson Mandela funeral was... a fake.
He just was moving his hands randomly.
Now that I'm informed this was the case, it seems pretty obvious.
The Daily Mail has a funny quote from someone who spotted the guy as a fake: he was merely "flapping his arms about."
He translated Barack Obama's statement that Nelson Mandela was "an unwavering beacon for those seeking the shores of freedom and dignity" by just miming the hand-signals from MC Hammer's 2 Legit 2 Quit.
Okay not really. But he is basically just doing hand-jive dance moves.
I don't care who you are, this is just f***in funny. dan-O says this man is now his hero.
I wonder how long he's been getting away with this?
And just because some of you are now thinking "Hey, I want to hear 2 Legit 2 Quit."
Thanks to dan-O.
Close it up
No One Cares: Time Names Pope Francis At the Top of Its "What's Hot" List
I hate that I'm even mentioning this fake story. I'm linking the Telegraph here, not Time.
As I said, Time made this call to push their left-wing political agenda, and also to achieve their secondary goal, which is selling magazines and making money.
Their precis on Pope Francis highlights only his usefulness as a spokesman for social justice and wealth redistribution. They claim that he's not interested in the "doctrinal" matters that his predecessors were.
Time's headline and subhed:
Pope Francis, The People’s Pope
He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing. The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century
Time's interest: One part Power to the People agitation, one part multiculti uplift. Sprinkle liberally with a call for Hope and Change.
"What makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all," Time magazine said in announcing the winner.
, the buck-passing infighting over lines of authority when all the while (to borrow from Milton), “the hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed.”
"In a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church—the church as servant and comforter of hurting people in an often harsh world—above the doctrinal police work so important to his recent predecessors. John Paul II and Benedict XVI were professors of theology. Francis is a former janitor, nightclub bouncer, chemical technician and literature teacher."
One of us.
And as I said: Social Issues You Guys.
He is quoted saying of women who consider abortion because of poverty or rape, “Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?” Of gay people: “If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.” To divorced and remarried Catholics who are, by rule, forbidden from taking Communion, he says that this crucial rite “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”
I don't quote Time to knock the Pope, or offer any opinions on his leadership of the Church at all.
I only quote Time to mock Time, to note how predictable they are. I predicted this yesterday, including the reasons they'd offer for their choice.
This is not because I am good at prediction; this is because the leftwing media is so very kneejerk and predictable. They claim to be neutral and objective. And yet someone can predict every single one of their news judgements by proceeding from the rule that they will make whichever judgement best serves the Progressive Socialist Transnationalist Cause.
Suppose I'm in a shady casino. I'm playing craps. I'm given a pair of dice by the pit boss, to throw to determine the results of a particularly large bet. I object and say I believe the dice are loaded, and will come up craps. He insists they are fair dice, and could come up with any dice tally.
If my prediction -- that the dice will come up craps on anything important -- is always correct, that casts a great deal of doubt on crooked house's claim that the dice are fair, doesn't it? They claim any score can come up; I claim it will always come up craps when they need it.
If it always comes up craps, then I am right, and they are lying.
If they're not actually in service of the Progressive Socialist Transnationaist cause, why is it that any moderately-informed observer can predict every single one of their judgements by employing this rule?
Thanks to @daveintexas.
Senate Democrats Up For Reelection Say Obama's Phony Phixes to Obamacare Aren't Enough; Plan a "Multifaceted" Reform
Senate Democrats facing tough reelections say President Obama has not done enough to fix the botched rollout of his healthcare law and are vowing to repair it themselves.
The Senate Democratic leadership is not on board with lawmaker plans to begin rewriting ObamaCare and have urged for more time to assess the changes made by Obama and his team, lawmakers say.
Landrieu, Shaheen and Udall face reelection next year.
Shaheen wants to extend the enrollment period for the ACA; Landrieu wants to mandate that insurance companies continue to offer plans that people like, even if they don’t meet the law’s requirements; and Udall wants to expand the pool of people included in the individual insurance marketplace.
The topic [Landrieu's suggestion that people be permitted to re-up on their old policies] came up briefly at a Tuesday lunch meeting, but Reid has urged the group of centrists to be patient and put off action until after Jan. 1.
Bennet and other Democrats have expressed concerns about what many expect to be a wave of new ObamaCare regulations.
“I’m concerned about the regulations which have yet to be issued,” said Angus King (Maine), an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.
He expressed concern that businesses providing healthcare coverage could be hit by excessive paperwork demands.
“This town seems to like issuing regulations,” he added. “I think the administration should be exceedingly careful about the onerousness of the regulations that are issued.”
Bennet said there should be an easier process to repeal ill-conceived rules related to healthcare and other issues.
Reid is committed to the "Buy Time" plan, just like Obama is. What Magical Rescue do they expect on January 1st?
As Drew writes in the post below, only 5-15% of the tiny number of Obamacare enrollees have actually paid their first month's premium. That means the tiny number of these so-called "enrollees" overstates the number of people who have actually purchased insurance by a factor of around 10.
About 36,500 people, or thereabouts, will actually have insurance on January 1st.
Five million people have lost insurance due to Obamacare.
It is usually the case that putting off the realization of a setback results in the ultimate setback being even worse when it arrives. That seems very likely to be the case here.
In twenty days we're going to start seeing the use of the C-word -- Crisis. And this is a crisis of Obama's making, Obama, Reid, Pelosi. All of them. They took people's insurance away and in return gave them a non-functioning website that cost several billion dollars of taxpayer money.
Almost No One Is Buying Private Insurance Through ObamaCare Exchanges
That's a slightly different take that the MSM's "OMG, OMG, ObamaCare Enrollments Surging" headlines but mine is more accurate.
Here's the bottom line.
Just about 1.2 million people have gained health coverage through Obamacare, according to new federal data released Wednesday morning. Approximately 365,000 of those people have purchased private insurance and 803,000 have been determined to be eligible for the public Medicaid program. These numbers count data from both October and November, and show an especially quick growth in HealthCare.gov enrollment.
A couple of things to give that some actual context.
1- At least 5 million people have lost coverage due to policies being cancelled thanks to ObamaCare. So that 365,000 number is insignificant compared to that. There will no doubt be more uninsured on January 1 than there were on October 1. Don't let them get away with pretending "1.2 million people who didn't have insurance have it now!".
Liberals will point to the new "enrollments" (and assume they will pay and become actual customers) while ignoring the previously uninsured who won't get coverage in time or be able to afford the new rates and deductibles.
The are simply redistributing health insurance from those who paid for it to those who didn't. This is a victory in their minds.
2. You can talk about all the "quick growth" from October to November all you want but it's still far, far below the original targets.
The 364,000 people who have signed up through the first two months still fall short of the administration's expectations for October alone. Another 3 million people would have to sign up this month alone in order to hit the initial year-end goal.
HHS had expected 3.3 million people to sign up by the end of December and 7 million by March 31, when the enrollment window closes. Although enrollment will surely miss the mark for this year, HHS officials said they remain confident they will reach their ultimate goal.
The administration and dead-enders in the media want to judge the numbers against the pathetic first month, not the original targets (which the actuarial numbers are based on).
There's no reason other than advocacy to grant this dispensation.
3. There's still no word on the demographic makeup of this new cohort. The death spiral is still very much in play.
Bottom line: The flacks and hacks will cheer but the reality of the numbers is disastrous.
Wednesday Morning News Dump
- Those Unobtainable Invincibles
- Sebelius Demands Investigation Into Screwed Up Obamacare Website
- Detroit's Bankruptcy Ruling Doesn't Spare The Pensions
- Euphoria Of Obamacare Becomes Nightmare Of Higher Premiums And Deductibles
- Obamacare Hurts Obama In NBC Poll
- No, Conservatives Aren't Always On The Wrong Side Of History
- Paper Application Missing From Healthcare.gov
- Indian Court Reinstates Law Banning Gay Sex
- Uraguay Legalizes Marijuana
- Will Colorado Have Enough Pot Stores To Meet Demand?
- Don't Take Naked Pictures Of Yourself With Your Cell Phone
Sorry for the meager offerings, I have a lot of work to do this morning.
Tiny Munchkin wearing +10 cloak of invisibility gets locked in parked plane for hours.
A Louisiana man flying to California woke up on a dark, empty plane parked at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston after sleeping through the call to exit the aircraft, officials said on Monday...The crew better go with the invisibility cloak excuse. I can't see anything else working.
...Company policy requires the flight crew to do a final sweep of the cabin and the company was investigating how Wagner was left onboard, Harrison said...
Top Headline Comments 12-11-13
The Obama Admin used to say 7 million Obamacare sign-ups would mean success. Now they're saying they just made that number up . . . because there's no freakin' way they're getting to 7 million sign-ups.
New poll (PDF): most (54%) say Obamacare is having a negative impact on the country’s health care system.
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Overnight Open Thread (12-10-2013)
So my work computer decided not to boot this morning which pretty much wasted the entire day and ultimately ensuckened the ONT. But hey it's not like you were really going to read it anyway so we'll just call it a push.
Well it's time for the annual AoSHQ color blindness test so we can see what you can't see. It's not like we ever use this information for say embedding secret messages for the other morons on the web site. Because that would be um...wrong I guess.
Tell me what you see.
Can't see anything? Well there are some new fangled glasses for you people.
Okay you saw some things - now let's see how good your color acuity really is. Take the color sorting test here.
An acre in Middlesex is better than a principality in Utopia. The smallest actual good is better than the most magnificent promises of impossibilities.
-- Thomas Babington Macaulay
Everything is a class warfare nail.
I wondered if we could go back to talking about zombies and socialism? Because there is quite a lot of scholarship on this, recently, and a lot of people writing, erm, quite intelligently about the idea of the power of the zombie narrative as a class war narrative.
From nuclear radiation and mind rays.
The AoSHQ group. Yeah.
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Time Desperately Tries to Make You Give a Shit About Unaccomplished Copyeditors Picking Their Favorite Person of the Year
Embarrassing, as usual. Link to Althouse.
Here are the names picked by a dozen editors you couldn't pick out of a lineup:
Bashar Assad, President of Syria
Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder
Ted Cruz, Texas Senator
Miley Cyrus, Singer
Pope Francis, Leader of the Catholic Church
Barack Obama, President of the United States
Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran
Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Edward Snowden, N.S.A. Leaker
Edith Windsor, Gay rights activist
Ted Cruz is obviously there for Time's readers to hate at. Several names, such as Obama and Sebelius, and for that matter Miley Cyrus, I assume are either jokes, or Time's desperate efforts to attract differing cultish demographics -- tweener pop music fans, the declining ranks of the Obamanaut Zealots.
They will pick Pope Francis. This is for several reasons. First, and most importantly, it will sell magazines. The Pope is the head of a large church; I can't think of anyone else on earth who is popular and who heads such a large organization, so intimately important in the everyday lives of people.
Picking Pope Francis also allows Time to claim Serious You Guys We're Not Anti-Religion n Stuff.
Of course the reason they would entertain picking Pope Francis (and not Pope Benedict) is that they are anti-religious. I don't mean Pope Francis isn't religious. I mean Time's interest in Pope Francis is entirely political -- they seem him as an ally in their unending political fight with the Right.
Not saying he is that -- I'm saying how that's how the left perceives him. A Polite Company Pontiff, so to speak.
You want proof of that? Time today had to correct a caption it ran with picture of Pope Francis. The caption specified that he was popular because he rejected the teachings of the Church.
No, seriously. Here was Time's first attempt to summarize the importance of Pope Francis:
First Jesuit Pontiff won hearts and headlines with his common touch and rejection of church dogma and luxury.
Yes, the head of the Catholic Church is known for rejecting the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Serious You Guys, the Pope said we need free birth control n stuff.
The Left is repulsively political. On the podcast, I criticized Frank Rich and Jonathan Chait for praising 12 Years a Slave not primarily on artistic merit, but for what they believed to be the film's true importance, its usefulness in swaying the political debate.
Similarly, Pope Francis is not admired for his efforts to bring the Catholic faith to the world.
Time views him only in terms of his potential impact on American politics -- you know, the "social issues" that bewitch them so, and socialistic wealth redistribution.
So that's why they'll pick Francis.
And I'll be over here, not giving a shit, as I don't give a shit every year a collection of mediocrities buy themselves some brief prominence by filling up some TV time during a slow news month.
We're In the Very Best of Hands: Currently-Serving Democratic Congresswoman Does Not Seem to Understand What, or Where, Benghazi Is
Mark Steyn is aghast.
First, she has no idea what “Benghazi” is.
Then, pleading in mitigation that she’s there to talk about the Middle East, she reveals that she has no idea where Benghazi is.
Finally, when her constituents helpfully point out that Benghazi is in Libya, she turns to the side and gives that pitiful look that is the single thing I most loathe about American politics – the look a floundering empty suit gives to her minder when she needs him to come and rescue her. Which the minder immediately does.
This isn’t an especially partisan point, but I’m so weary of post-modern ventriloquist’s dummies who can’t be allowed near their constituents without the protection of a phalanx of aides. In this video, the voters are well-informed, but they have a low-information Congresswoman.
Wonk Gap, yo.
Paul Ryan, Patty Murray Announce Budget Deal; Sequester Out, Spending Up
They're announcing it now, live, on FoxNews (and I imagine a lot of other stations).
National Journal laid out the basics:
Budget negotiators were tantalizingly close Tuesday afternoon to reaching a two-year deal that would set annual spending levels around $1 trillion and replace some automatic spending cuts with non-tax revenue, according to aides and lawmakers familiar with the situation. s set to hold a press conference.
Even as a deal appears certain, significant hurdles remain to final passage. Some conservatives have recently voiced opposition to swapping out sequester cuts for "user fees," while liberals have criticized any deal that does not extend unemployment insurance or protect federal employees from paying more into their pensions.
As I understand it, the actual cuts of the sequester will be replaced by "future cuts," also known as "not cuts at all," and a host of new or increased taxes which aren't called taxes because they don't want to call them taxes.
Drew discussed the deal yesterday, or at least the hints that had been public as of yesterday.
It became clear months ago when the House only passed appropriation bills that increased spending and not the ones that actually cut spending that the fix was in.
And don't buy the nonsense about fees (aka "taxes") or higher pension contributions offsetting some of the spending. First, like almost all stopgap gimmicks they are...gimmicks. Second, in the case of higher pension contributions, that should happen even with the sequester in place to reduce costs, not to offset new ones.
The biggest problem with the "off-set" flimflam is that even if it helps offset hiking the budget and the debt, it does nothing to shrink the size and scope of government. I've said it before and I still mean it, I'd rather a federal budget that takes up 17-18% of GDP and was out of balanced than a budget that consumes 24% and is balanced. Size and scope of government matter more than perfectly balancing the books.
More Details: At the Washington Post.
Yes, you'll be paying more in "non-tax revenue," or, I call it, Ryan Taxes.
Sequester's out, and Ryan Taxes are in:
Those savings would be replaced by roughly $63 billion in other policies, including fee increases for airline travelers, cuts to federal-worker and military pensions and higher payments for federal insurance of private pensions, according to people familiar with the talks.
Ryan and Murray were rushing to file legislation before midnight so the House could vote as soon as Thursday and leave town for the year by the weekend. The Senate, which is scheduled to leave town next week, would vote thereafter.
The agreement would set the budget for the Pentagon and other federal agencies at $1.012 trillion for fiscal 2014 and $1.015 trillion for fiscal 2015, preventing a new $20 billion hit to defense spending from taking effect in January.
Domestic agencies would get a bump up of equal size, according to people familiar with the deal. The $63 billion pricetag would be covered with a mix of policies, roughly half spending cuts and half new non-tax revenues.
They've Rebooted Godzilla for Some Strange Reason
Yeah, I was actually about to just do my typical "What are these assholes doing?" sort of post but then I watched the trailer.
I like science-fiction and fantasy and adventure thrillers. Or I like these genres, anyway. But I usually do not like movies made in these genres.
They usually are missing something. They're usually missing the main thing I'm paying money for: A sense of wonder. A sense of mystery, and not just mystery, but grand mystery.
So often they are just put together in this format:
Talking Bullshit (Hero and Heroine don't like each other)
Action Sequence (Minor character is killed under uncertain conditions)
Talking Bullshit (Heroine learns that the Hero is broody and has "depth")
Action Sequence (Fistfight)
Talking Bullshit (Hero and Heroine flirt)
Action Sequence (Chase)
Talking Bullshit (Villian yaps at the Hero and Heroine and tells them his plan)
Action Sequence (Major Firefight with Jets and Bombs and Shit That Glows!!!)
I'm always wondering to myself: Where, when they were writing the script, did they expect a 10 year old boy (or the 10 year old boy in all of us, including in women) to go, "Wowww...!!!"
The only Wow factor they're offering CGI Cartoon shit happening faster and bigger.
This reminds me of why Metallica stopped playing speed metal. They realized that the competition in speed metal had simply become unidimensional -- it was simply to play things faster, and then faster, and then faster still, and then, when that got boring, to try playing things even faster.
What is the endpoint of that, they wondered? Is that a competition worth winning?
CGI hasn't had the effect of liberating filmmakers' imaginations -- it has had quite the opposite effect. CGI promises, they think, a guaranteed payoff: We'll just make our cartoons bigger, louder, and faster than they were last time, with more pixels and more texture-shading, and there you go. Art has been made.
But Bigger, Louder, Faster is a creative ditch just like speed metal's Faster Faster Faster.
There's a moment in Temple of Doom I love. It's such a throwaway line. It means nothing at all. But it's great.
Indy and Short Round and Willie are traveling by elephant through the jungle on their way to the Pankot Palace. First of all, that's neat right there. It's a very short "Adventure Trek" montage, but who doesn't love the idea of riding an elephant through the jungle?
And then the sky is darkened by a swarm of flying animals, and Willie says, "Look at those big birds...!"
And Indy says, "Those aren't birds, sweetheart. Those are giant vampire bats."
Well, there's no such thing as a giant vampire bat. Vampire bats are tiny. The bats being filmed were actually fruitbats, which are large, but, as their name implies, not vampiric, except with regard to fruit.
But that simple little line, tossed in there, with absolute no plot consequences whatsoever -- "Those are giant vampire bats" -- gave me a little thrill, a little sense of wonder. Maybe there were giant vampire bats and I just hadn't heard of them -- hey, Indy said so, and Indy's a genius.
This little line -- a nothing little line -- and a very cheap-to-film shot of common fruitbats paid off big, at least for me.
That line wasn't made by special effects. The shot cost a thousand dollars; the cost of the writer writing it was about seventy-five cents. It was just a writer wondering, "Hey, what can I put in here that would be surprising and kind of neat?"
I've mentioned before the half-buried skeleton of the immensely large, unidentified alien animal seen in the beginning of the Tatooine Trek of Star Wars. Again, not terribly expensive. And yet just seeing that huge skeleton provoked me, as a kid, to wonder what the hell the complete creature looked like.
There just doesn't seem much room in movies any more for the viewer's imagination. Your imagination isn't wanted, needed, or even usable -- everything is an obvious as a shotgun to the face, and everything is Louder and Faster and Also Louder, because, God forbid that a movie might have the confidence to play a scene quietly and let you think about what you're seeing.
Anyway, I'm sure Godzilla is awful, like every other piece of crap that Hollywood makes. But that trailer gives me some hope-- I was expecting that HALO dive to be the typical Been There Done That crap, but instead there's this incredible cloud-scape and red signal-smoke dripping down like blood and ominous music (which reminded me of the music that announced the Monolith in 2001) and just little openings which allowed my imagination in and allowed me to ask, "What's this about? What's going on here?"
They seem to be presenting Godzilla as a mystery, as a frightening primal force provoking dread and wonder, rather than as an opportunity for One-Liners and Toyshop Tie-Ins, as they did in the last film.
I don't know if that will work. There are some ideas too silly to give the Sense of Awe treatment to, and a giant mutant radiation-breathing T-Rex on the loose in
NY San Francisco seems to be one of them. (I think it's San Francisco -- there's a triangular building in the skyline, and I think the metro sign says "BART.")
And I don't care about Godzilla at all. I'm not a child. I don't care about giant monsters knocking about cities. I've seen this before.
In the last ten years, I've seen this kind of thing about 35 times now.
But what I am interested in -- and I'm slightly hopeful for this movie, based upon the trailer -- is that at least one more movie might possibly make me say "Gee whiz" or even "Wow" one more time in my life.
At least someone is thinking. That's a good thing.
Close it up
Quinnipiac: Obama's Job Approval Drops to Fresh Low
38%, with 57% (!!!) disapproving.
Among Independents, he's at... 30%.
Today, Obama gets negative scores of 6 - 92 percent among Republicans, 30 - 62 percent among independent voters, 31 - 64 percent among men, 44 - 49 percent among women and 29 - 65 among white voters. Approval is 76 - 18 percent among Democrats and 85 - 9 percent among black voters.
This, of course, has impacted the Generic Ballot:
American voters say 41 - 38 percent that they would vote for a Republican over a Democrat for the U.S. House of Representatives, the first time this year the Democrats come up on the short end of this generic ballot. Independent voters back Republican candidates 41 - 28 percent. Voters also say 47 - 42 percent that they would like to see Republicans gain control of the U.S. Senate and the House. Independent voters go Republican 50 - 35 percent for each.
On to the personal ratings:
President Obama is not honest and trustworthy, American voters say 52 - 44 percent and is not a strong leader, voters say 51 - 47 percent. Voters are divided 48 - 49 percent on whether Obama cares about their needs and problems.
As for the "good news" for Obama: the public disapproves of the job Republicans in Congress are doing by an even higher percentage, and the public feels, by a 2:1 ratio, that the minimum wage should be hiked.
You can tell they don't really care terribly much about these feelings based on their wish that Republicans recapture Congress. Yes, they're down on the GOP, and yes, they say the Nice Media-Approved Thing with regard to the minimum wage, but if this were driving their voting preferences it would, well, actually drive their voting preferences.
Thanks to @slublog, or, as I call him, The Hot Air Meatball.
Almost Three Quarters of All US Military Deaths in Afghanistan Have Occurred During The Presidency of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barack Obama
Because the media does not report on Afghanistan anymore -- much less report the Grim Milestones daily -- I believe that most of the American public believes the War in Afghanistan ended years ago. They don't remember precisely when it ended, but most probably think it did end.
It didn't end. Media coverage ended. The war stopped being newsworthy when it ceased being a useful political catspaw by which the media could agitate against a Republican Administration.
So even though three quarters -- 74%! -- of all US servicemen's deaths occurred under the leadership (and I use the term advisedly) of Barack Obama, the public still thinks that Bush, rather than Obama, is responsible for the deaths of our best and bravest.
Using the AP’s Afghanistan casualties database, Breitbart News calculated that between January 20, 2009, and the end of last month 1,595 U.S. soldiers lost their lives in the Afghanistan conflict. The total number of military deaths so far is 2,153.
That means that about 74 percent of all U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan have taken place under Obama’s watch. During the eight years of the previous administration there were only 558 fatalities, or about 26 percent of the deaths that have taken place from October 7, 2001, the start of the war, to November 30, 2013.
The information in the AP database is gleaned from AP news reports and confirmed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
There is some good news:
This year is shaping up to have the lowest death tally of any during Obama’s presidency. The 110 fatalities reported so far in 2013 are similar in number to those reported in 2007. Then there were a total of 110 U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan, followed by 151 in 2008. Those were the two highest casualty counts under President Bush.
So a good year for Obama, in terms of casualties, was a bad year for Bush.
And yet the media no longer asks what we're doing in Afghanistan, or what the plan is, or what all this cost in American life is supposedly buying us. When now is precisely when they should be asking.
FAQ: If I, As a Good Jihadi, Wish to Smuggle Explosives In My Anus, Is It Permissible To Allow Other Jihadis to Sodomize Me Until My Anus Has Become Wider and More Suitable for Smuggling?
Indeed! Not only is it permitted, it is encouraged.
This is actually an old story, dating from at least July of 2012. But I guess it's getting some new attention this slow-news week.
I don't know what exactly @benk84 was trying to find when this sexy little tidbit showed up in his search returns, and I'm not sure I want to. Let's just say it was a happy little accident.
This reminds me of a joke.
A hunter goes into the woods to hunt a bear, armed with a rifle. He finds some bear tracks and follows them around a copse of trees. But he's suddenly alarmed to realize the bear has doubled-back, and is behind him. He spins around to shoot the bear but the bear pounces upon him.
The bear throws him to the ground, tears his pants off, and f***s him up the a**.
The hunter leaves the forest, humiliated, confused. He resolves that this bear who violated him shall not live. He buys not one but ten bear traps, and sets out into the woods again. He lays each trap carefully, baiting each with a full salmon.
As he's laying the last salmon on the last trap, he catches a scent he's smelled before -- the bear has silently stalked him, and is now directly behind him.
The man whirls about, but it is too late. The bear swats him to the ground, turns him over, tears his pants off, and f***s him up the ass.
Once again the man staggers out of the forest, ashamed and angry. The bear has not merely defeated him; the bear has stolen his masculine honor for him.
He goes to an Army-Navy store and purchases a dozen grenades. He special-orders a high-caliber rifle with a laser-targeting system. Thus armed, he sets out into the woods again.
Slowly he stalks the forest, his boots crunching lightly in the snow. In the distance, he hears a large bear howling. He rushes towards the sound.
Before him is an icy creek, cold and deep. Bear tracks lead up to the creek -- perhaps the bear crossed the water here. The hunter steps into the frigid water in his hip-wader boots and begins to ford the stream.
Suddenly the bear bursts out of the creek, slaps him three times in the face with his paws, heaves him to the shore like he was a toy, and strips the pants from his ass with his claws.
The hunter grits his teeth as the bear is about to assault him. Suddenly the bear stops, and whispers seductively in his ear, "How long must we play this little game of ours, darling?"
Close it up
Paul Krugman, The Wonk Gap, and The Eternal Church of the All-Seeing State
His basic observation is this: The Progressive Left likes to flatter itself as a Party of Experts, making rational, scientific decisions about policy without regard to politics or tribal loyalty.
As a hack at the Washington Monthly put it:
[T]he left has an equally lopsided advantage when it comes to a different type of pundit: wonks. The left’s wonk bench is both wide and deep. These folks are ideologically inclined, certainly, but are also dedicated to study, empirical analysis, and informed debate. They argue mostly through evidence-based reasoning, sometimes shot through with a bit of sarcasm or anger, but they’re uncomfortable with abject partisanship.
This is directly contrasted with the Unreasoning Right, a group which has precious few "wonks," low collective expertise, and, to fill in the significant gaps of their knowledge, examines every policy question through the prism of ideology.
Here's the problem: None of that is true. Because the Left's Wonks have an embarrassing tendency to completely ignore all of their previously stated Expert Opinion the moment a political actor, Barack Obama, tells them that the Left's political interests will be served by doing so.
What good is being a "wonk" if you're going to say "F*** You, Science" the moment the Democratic Party needs you to?
Ever since President Obama endorsed a federal minimum wage hike in his State of the Union speech, progressives have lined up in lockstep support. Economists, bloggers, tv hosts all have come out saying that a minimum wage hike is clearly the right move. You’d be forgiven if you thought that it’s been a very short while since the very existence of a minimum wage was considered controversial.
In the late 1980s, the New York Times advocated for an abolition of the minimum wage. With 25 more years of research, much of it showing that the minimum wage is an inefficient distortion of labor markets, the New York Times reversed position and advocated for a minimum wage hike to historic highs.
Even the Times’ progressive-and-proud columnist Paul Krugman has earlier had wise things to say about the minimum wage. In 1998, Krugman wrote:So what are the effects of increasing minimum wages? Any Econ 101 student can tell you the answer: The higher wage reduces the quantity of labor demanded, and hence leads to unemployment. This theoretical prediction has, however, been hard to confirm with actual data. Indeed, much-cited studies by two well-regarded labor economists, David Card and Alan Krueger, find that where there have been more or less controlled experiments, for example when New Jersey raised minimum wages but Pennsylvania did not, the effects of the increase on employment have been negligible or even positive. Exactly what to make of this result is a source of great dispute. Card and Krueger offered some complex theoretical rationales, but most of their colleagues are unconvinced; the centrist view is probably that minimum wages “do,” in fact, reduce employment, but that the effects are small and swamped by other forces.
What is remarkable, however, is how this rather iffy result has been seized upon by some liberals as a rationale for making large minimum wage increases a core component of the liberal agenda–for arguing that living wages “can play an important role in reversing the 25-year decline in wages experienced by most working people in America” (as this book’s back cover has it). Clearly these advocates very much want to believe that the price of labor–unlike that of gasoline, or Manhattan apartments–can be set based on considerations of justice, not supply and demand, without unpleasant side effects. This will to believe is obvious in this book: The authors not only take the Card-Krueger results as gospel, but advance a number of other arguments that just do not hold up under examination.
This earlier version of Paul Krugman had the right idea, writing that what a large minimum wage hike “is really about is not living standards, or even economics, but morality.”
The New York Times’ view has changed. Paul Krugman’s view has changed. Jason Briggeman of George Mason University took a dive into why these elite progressives have changed their opinions on the minimum wage. None of the possible reasons speaks well to the elite progressives’ thinking.
Yes, the sudden reversal on the minimum wage by left-wing academics is so abrupt and startling that other academics are writing papers to try to explain the volte face.
The intertwining of the left-wing intelligentsia with the Democratic Party has compromised the ability of many of these writers to actually think critically....
The result of this bandwagon-circling around the inherent rightness of progressivism is a rejection of the traits that they’ve associated with “being a wonk.” [W]hen the leader of the Democratic Party takes a side on an issue that the wonks may feel conflicted about, they tend to fall in line. When the progressive wonkocracy is a key leg of the Democratic Party, though, they’ll discard dispassionate analysis for partisan hackery.
Scott Linciome also discovers other "experts" now claiming to be surprised by the perfectly obvious -- that insurance companies, whose products are now mandated to be purchased, should be set to reap record profits.
And Krugman, meanwhile, continues to discover that all of his previous expertise on matters economic has now been rendered moot by the new discoveries made in the field-- discoveries announced by non-economist Barack Obama in political speeches.
"Here's the world as many Republicans see it: Unemployment insurance, which generally pays eligible workers between 40 and 50 percent of their previous pay, reduces the incentive to search for a new job. As a result, the story goes, workers stay unemployed longer."--former Enron adviser Paul Krugman, New York Times, Dec. 9
"Public policy designed to help workers who lose their jobs can lead to structural unemployment as an unintended side effect. . . . In other countries, particularly in Europe, benefits are more generous and last longer. The drawback to this generosity is that it reduces a worker's incentive to quickly find a new job. Generous unemployment benefits in some European countries are widely believed to be one of the main causes of 'Eurosclerosis,' the persistent high unemployment that affects a number of European countries."--"Macroeconomics" by Paul Krugman and Robin Wells, second edition, 2009
I should confess that Krugman does not explicitly endorse the "wide belief" that unemployment benefits cause longer-term unemployment in that quote. Nevertheless, just as he admitted the "centrist" view on the minimum wage is that it reduces employment by a small amount, here he confesses the "wide belief" of economists that longer-term and more generous unemployment benefits lead to, well, a more generous and longer-term spell of unemployment.
That belief is texbook-- literally. Krugman wrote about it in a macroeconomics textbook.
And yet, when he is in his firebreathing partisan loyalist mode -- a mode he has scarcely departed from lately -- he will instruct you that only stupid Republicans and non-wonks could possibly believe these silly little nostrums, and that no self-respecting Wonk could possibly credit them as true.
Waitress Who Wasn't Discriminated Against Because She's a Lesbian Now Discriminated Against Because She's a Liar
At the New York Post:
Dayna Morales, 22, was finally canned from Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater — nearly a month after she made national headlines over what’s likely a hoax.
The restaurant announced her termination on Facebook Saturday shortly after it was revealed she was returning donations from supporters across the world.
Um... we'll see if that happens. Because the last thing she said would happen with the money, get this, didn't:
The purported incident created a media firestorm, with well-wishers sending Morales at least $3,000 in donations through a PayPal account. Morales claimed she’d send proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project, but the group said it hasn’t received anything.
Some donors say they have gotten their money back. Here's hoping they all do.
Losing The Plot On Primaries
News from the GOP Senate primary front:
Congressman Steve Stockman announces he will take on John Cornyn in Texas.
The Senate Conservative Fund endorses Milton Wolfe against Pat Roberts in Kansas.
Let's look at each of these in turn.
Cornyn is the GOP's number 2 guy in the Senate. That means the top leadership of the Senate is being primaried by reasonable, if not likely, candidates. That's not good from a party perspective. Even if Cornyn and Mitch McConnell win in walks they will spend a lot of money doing it and the party will be subject to a lot of "civil war" stories. No matter the outcome of the races, the GOP is not a healthy party.
Stockman filed at almost the last minute and has almost no money (he's got $32K compared to Cornyn's $7 million). The Senate Conservative Fund hasn't made a decision yet but the Club For Growth has said they are staying out.
Stockman is giving up a safe House seat to take on what's clearly going to be a longshot race. What is hoping to tap into?
'Roots in TX wonders why, when the state has their Senators' backs, would a Senator communicate and act like a Senator from a mod state.— Melissa Clouthier (@MelissaTweets) December 10, 2013
There was a sense with KBH that she was representing DC's opinion to TX, not the other way around. Lots feel same way abt Cornyn.— Melissa Clouthier (@MelissaTweets) December 10, 2013
Will it be enough?
People will point to the Cruz/Dewhurst race but there are some major differences.
That was a fight for an open seat, not with a long-term well connected DC incumbent. More importantly, there was a 3rd candidate who go ~13% of the vote keeping Dewhurst under 50% leading to the runoff which Cruz (like a lot of insurgents) won in a walk.
Stockman may not win but he's going to give Cornyn a headache.
The Roberts-Wolfe race is a total mystery to me.
According to Heritage Action's scorecard, Roberts is number 5 on their list of Senators with a 90% score (the same score as Stockman gets in the House).
What's the goal here?
You can say, "Primary ALL of them!" Ok but resources are always limited. Is going after Mike Enzi and Pat Roberts the best use of resources when Lindsey Graham and Lamar Alexander are basically getting a pass?
The Senate Cosnervative Fund is also going after Thad Cochran from Mississippi and trying to get a more conservative candidate as the nominee in Louisiana. I think both of those are smart moves.
On the other side of this debate are Michael Medved and John Podhoretz who argue that the GOP is conservative enough and all of this primary stuff is nonsense.
It's a really long piece and I'm not sure they think there ever should be any primaries short of out and out hostility to the GOP. Last night on Twitter Podhoretz claimed they laid out when it was ok to primary. I'm guessing this is it.
In other words, primary challenges to sitting members of the Senate or the House can seriously damage the party’s overall prospects and most certainly will do nothing to burnish the Republican brand. Regardless of the outcome of each of the various battles in this possible “civil war,” bitter internal disputes over whether a given candidate qualifies for admiration as a pure-bred “true conservative” or deserves contempt as a mongrel squish can only strike swing voters and independents as eccentric, fanatical, or even cultish—especially at a time when barely a third of the electorate describes itself as “conservative.”
It is also peculiarly anachronistic. There was once an ideological divide in the GOP, when liberal Republicans like Clifford Case (alongside Jacob Javits of New York, Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, Lowell Weicker of Connecticut, and the geographical outlier Mark Hatfield of Oregon) were genuinely hostile to conservatism and protective of their place in the mainstream “establishment.” They were, indeed, RINOs, if by Republican you mean someone who generally adheres to a right-of-center point of view. But demographic and geographic changes in the United States over the past 40 years have basically made those original RINOs an extinct species. Talking about manifestly conservative politicians of the early 21st century as though they are no different from liberals rightly creates cognitive dissonance in the minds of voters who do not follow the ins and outs of Republican politics day to day, and inclines many of them to back away in discomfort as one does when seeing a married couple squabble in public.
If that's their criteria for a primary I would suggest there's one candidate this year who fits even that narrow definition: Susan Collins. Her vote for the stimulus plan alone should earn her a primary challenge for hostility to the GOP. Remember only the retired Olympia Snow and the turncoat Arlen Specter voted for it.
As much as I loathe Collins, primarying her would be idiotic. She's the best the GOP is going to do in Maine. So what's gained by running a conservative against her?
I'd suggest any rule for primaries that leads to your side losing seats is really just an incumbent protection scheme.
So who should be the focus of targeted primary challenges?
For me it's three basic things:
1. A lukewarm voting record
2. A record of vocal opposition to conservatives, especially when coupled with a history of "reaching across the aisle".
3. A record of abandoning our side on key votes. People will say "someone who votes with my 80% of the time is an ally, not an enemy". That's not necessarily true.
Look at the Supreme Court. There are a lot more 9-0, 8-1, 7-2 decisions than there are 5-4 ones. But which ones are the really important votes? If the 20% of the time you are against me are the votes that really matter, you're not an ally.
Conservatives need to focus on primarying candidates that do real damage to the movement and whose replacement would bring real value.
I get being mad and wanting to punish these people for what they've done but it has to be done in a smart, methodical and most importantly, effective way.
If you indiscriminately start primarying guys like Enzi and Roberts people won't take your complaints very seriously. And worse, you'll lose a lot of the races and then they'll stop fearing you.
Close it up
Tuesday Morning News Dump
- Republicans Should Reject Paul Ryan's Budget-Busting Abomination
- How The ATF Manufactures Crime
- US Sells Of Last Of GM Stock For 10.5 Billion Dollar Loss
- Steve Stockman Will Challenge John Cornyn For Texas's Other Senate Seat
- Alan Grayson Lost 18 Million Dollars In Fraud Scheme
- John Podesta To Join Obama White House
- Obama Shakes Hands With Cuban Dictator
- Boehner Files To Run Again In 2014
- Tarano: What's The Matter With Alabama
- Obamacare Could Force Volunteer Fire Departments To Close
- MSNBC's Alternative Universe
- Obama Turns To Populism To Boost His Second Term Agenda
- 28 Santa Monica Police Officers Made More Than 200k Last Year
- The New York Times' Homeless Hooey
- One In Five In US Reached Affluence
- Megyn Kelly Appears On Jay Leno
- Dan Rather Still Won't Give Up His Fake Story
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Top Headline Comments 12-10-13
In Election 2014 news, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor trails his GOP challenger Tom Cotton by 7 points. Obamacare gets a lot of the credit.
Rep. Steve Stockman surprised everyone yesterday with a surprise decision to challenge Sen. John Cornyn in the GOP primary. Stockman announced his candidacy in World Net Daily. He has $36,000 in the bank.
The NY Post editorial board responded to that NYTimes homelessness piece that got medium-sized buzz yesterday to call it hooey. A taste: "If the city is at fault here, it might well be for having been too generous — providing so much that neither the father nor mother seems much inclined to provide for their kids."
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