Shut It Down--An Open Letter To Speaker Boehner
The revelations about the corruption and abuses of power within in the Obama administration has shown one thing very clearly…Obama has not taken care that the laws of the United States be faithfully executed.
Simple math will show that Obama will not be impeached and convicted. In fact trying to do so is folly. He will become a martyr to the left and his ultimate acquittal will only vindicate his history of abuse.
What can be done however is a full stop, nothing passes, nothing moves from the House of Representatives until substantive progress is made on rooting out the malefactors who have turned the executive branch into a hyper-partisan, unaccountable, enforcement arm of the Democratic Party. Yes, elections have consequences and Democrats have every right to guide policies to their liking, they have no right to use the power of government to impede the legal political activities of opponents or do enforce laws in ways that give their political allies an advantage.
We’ve rightly heard over the last 3 plus years that the House alone is insufficient to move forward any entitlement reforms that could possibly pass. It is insufficient to repeal of ObamaCare. The House alone cannot do any of the things conservatives would like to see happen while the Democrats control the Senate and the White House.
What we’ve also been told however is that the House can stop new bad things from happen. Now is the time to exercise that power.
This is a partial list of what I think must be cleared up before the GOP passes any more legislation:
• Understand why an IRS official who her superiors knew was targeting conservative political groups received six-figure bonuses for her work and is now charged with heading the IRS implementation of ObamaCare.
• Ensure that the people who targeted the President’s opponents have been removed from the government.
• Protections must be put in place and demonstrated to be effective to ensure that the IRS is no longer engaged in partisan warfare against citizens who may not share this President’s poitical views.
• HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebeilius must be full investigated for her extra-legal fundraising activities from organizations and companies she is empowered to regulate under the Affordable Care Act.
• There must also be a full accounting of Sebelius’ prior violation of the Hatch Act, which appears to have gone unpunished.
• There must be a full investigation of the AP subpoena issue, including the actions of the Attorney General and the handing of his alleged recusal.
As I said, this is just a partial list of issues that must be addressed and corrective action taken before the House of Representatives does a damn thing.
Debt ceiling hike? No. Maybe in exchange for something concrete like Sebelius’ resignation or a delay in the implementation of ObamaCare until these investigations are complete and corrective actions are made.
Budget? Sure, as long as it doesn’t include any funding for ObamaCare and the IRS’ role in implementing it.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform? Hell no. At this point does anyone trust the IRS or Department of Homeland Security under this President to actual enforce any provisions other than giving the maximum number of illegal immigrants legal status as quickly as possible? Do you really think the IRS is going to disqualify illegals from legal status over unpaid back taxes?
Nothing moves Mr. Speaker. Nothing.
This will not be a politically popular stand, at least at first. People will think it’s simply partisan gamesmanship. It will be up to Republicans to explain the stakes here.
In the past I’ve opposed government shutdowns because there’s no identifiable path to winning and because yes, when you know you can’t win, you have to live to fight another day. But if stopping this country from sliding into a 3rd world banana republic where the politically powerful can crush their opposition by using the power of government isn’t a hill worth fighting on what is? If the GOP won’t make this stand, what exactly is their purpose?
Shut it down Mr. Speaker. Shut it down.
Added: I originally wrote this to be posted on Friday but things got busy and I never found a spot to post it, so I put it up at my little blog. Allah was kind enough to link to it from Hot Air but as part of a post with a disturbing theory...all the scandals make things like amnesty easier to pass.
I am under no illusions that Boehner or the GOP would actually go the route I propose but he should.
Monday Morning Link Dump
- Obama Was Lying When He Claimed He Found Out About The IRS Scandal From The Media
- Tea Party Plans Nationwide Protests At IRS Office
- This Is Funny Advice Coming From A Man Who Rarely Works
- Good Read: Too Big To Jail
- Two IRS Offices Targeted Hawaii GOP Leader At The Same Time
- IRS Source No Way Low Level Paper Pusher Acted On Their Own
- Don't Blame Citizens United For The IRS Scandal
- Introducing The Obama Scandal Bracket
- DOJ Spied On Fox's Rosen
- Scandals Vs. Sway
- Mia Love Announces Bid For Congress In 2014
- This Will End Well: A Florida Resident Is Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars Richer Today
- Anthem Singer Forgets Words To US National Anthem And Begins Making Some Up
- Candy Crowley: Better Late Than Never
- A Bushel Of Pinocchios For IRS's Lois Lerner
- At Least 19 Tornadoes Hit 3 States
- Two FBI Agents Killed In Training Accident
- Best Collapse Of Civilization Ever
- I Hope This Is True
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Top Headline Comments 5-20-13
Christian Heinze continues to do good work dissecting the 2012 election. He's right that there are a lot of folks who don't want to talk about these numbers.
The Keynesians have been loudly proclaiming victory in their endless war against what they sneeringly refer to as "austerians." But, not so fast, says Jim Pethokoukis, who inconveniently notes that, despite "suffering" from more austerity than Europe, the U.S. is nevertheless better off.
Tim Carney writes that the message Obama's White House sends is pretty clearly reprehensible: "watch what you say about Obama's White House." My own weekend thoughts on the White House's scandal behavior, ICYMI, are here.
The union for DHS' U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees is publicly opposing the Senate's immigration bill. "Insurmountable bureaucracy," says the union.
Star Trek led the box office this weekend, but not by as much as some folks had hoped. I saw it Saturday and liked it a lot more than 2009's reboot. MOVIE SPOILERS AT THE NEXT LINK: Buzzfeed does some original reporting involving (no, really: spoilers)10 TV-series Star Trek references in the movie (/spoilers). As I said on Twitter, this film felt a lot more like the Star Trek that I grew up with than the too-chaotic and too-convenient reboot.
Overnight Open Thread (5-19-2013)
End of the weekend for some, just another day for others, but all are welcome at the ONT party.
So the Eurovision song contest just finished and Danish singer Emmelie de Forest won with her song, Only Tears.
The contest has been going on for 57 years and in it a single singer/group from each country compete for votes. It's mainly European countries and Israel although some North African countries have participated.
Here a roundup of all the 2013 entries. Interestingly most of the songs are in English.
What happens when you gave money to Romney and President Obama calls you out publicly? Well this:
Miss Strassel wrote that on April 26, 2012. Five weeks later, one of the named individuals, Frank VanderSloot, was informed by the IRS that he and his wife were being audited. In July, he was told by the Department of Labor of an additional audit over the guest workers on his cattle ranch in Idaho. In September, he was notified that one of his other businesses was to be audited. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never previously been audited, attracted three in the four months after being publicly named by el Presidente. More to the point he attracted that triple audit even though Miss Strassel explicitly predicted in America's biggest-selling newspaper that this was exactly what the Obama enforcers were going to do. The "separate, sinister entity" of the government of the United States went ahead anyway. What do they care? If some lippy broad in the papers won't quit her yapping about it, they can always audit her, too - as they did to Miss Strassel's sometime colleague Anne Hendershott, a sociology professor who got rather too interested in Obamacare and wrote about it in the Journal and various small Catholic publications. The IRS summoned Professor Hendershott to account for herself, and forbade her husband from accompanying her, even though they filed jointly. She ceased her political writing.
A year after he was named to the Obama Dishonor Roll, the feds have found nothing on Mr. VanderSloot, but they have caused him to rack up 80 grand in legal bills. This is what IRS defenders (of whom there are more than there ought to be) mean when they assure us that the system worked: Yes, some rich guy had to blow through the best part of six figures fending off the bureaucrats, but it's not like his body was found in a trunk at the airport or anything, if you know what I mean, Kimmy baby.
Our system is quite resilient - but only up to a point. And once you go beyond that point the usual assumptions and restraints no longer operate.
There is another danger facing Republicans which the National Journal doesn't directly address. It can be described thus: if the scandals go too far at unearthing the administration's rot then even the most craven Republicans will be compelled to do something about it. Like a man in a saloon card game who's caught someone cheating at cards either they call him out and take what comes or pretend the game is still honest. It's either ignore the cheating or get ready to clear leather.
What the scandals have done to Washington is taken the former process of horse-trading perilously close to a zero-sum game. Each new revelation bolsters the belief that the administration has already done precisely what the Republicans don't want to do: gone for for big brass ring. Gone for world domination. There are a lot of suggestive indicators. They've politicized the IRS, Treasury, Justice - maybe even the defense department. Maybe they've already opted for the zero sum game - with themselves as the winners.
There is still some way to go until things become crystal clear; a brief space in which to make certain about what is really going on. Like a scan or ultrasound or biopsy you're waiting on. For once we know the knowledge will bind us. There are dangerous lines to cross, which once traversed make it is hard to go back. Would that the administration's minions had thought that way. The structures of the Republic were designed to make stark choices unnecessary. Permanent power is a chalice no one should want to drink from. Once that cup is tasted something very wicked this way comes.
The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.
- Barack Obama, then still a candidate for the US Senate in Illinois, in his keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, July of 2004.
"Congressman: IRS asked pro-life group about 'the content of their prayers.'"
- Headline, the Washington Examiner, this past Friday.
Visiting Arlington National Cemetery last week:
And the Warrior Games, a sports tournament for servicemen and women, in Colorado Springs.
Including the one that men think about sex every 7 seconds:
In 2011, researchers at Ohio State University found that college-age men thought about sex about 19 times a day, or once every 4,547 seconds.
The study corrected the damaging stereotype that men are far more sex-obsessed than women. While women recorded about half as many sex thoughts as men, they also thought less about other basic biological needs like eating and sleeping. Overall, gender was a poor predictor of how often a person thinks about sex; emotional attitude and comfort level with sex were both more indicative.
And that will get you deported:
... at the festival in the capital Riyadh, several Saudi religious police men stormed the UAE pavilion on Sunday and evicted three Emirati young men because "they are too handsome," according to the Saudi news website Elaph. [...]
"A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and that the Commission members feared female visitors could fall for them," the news service said, adding that the festival's management took urgent measures to deport the three to Abu Dhabi.
"'I got a big '70s bush.' Which I was kidding. But then it was all a disaster. And now I look like an eight-year-old girl, basically .. Every time I have a bikini wax, Cameron Diaz holds me down .. Cheers to our hairless vaginas!"
Weekly AoSHQ Commenter Standings
Top 10 commenters:
1 [602 comments] 'willow' [84.51 posts/day]
2 [464 comments] 'AllenG (Dedicated Tenther)'
3 [431 comments] 'Mike Hammer'
4 [426 comments] 'Nevergiveup'
5 [395 comments] 'thunderb'
6 [379 comments] 'Vic'
7 [359 comments] 'Tobacco Road'
8 [334 comments] 'RWC'
9 [328 comments] 'soothsayer'
10 [319 comments] 'Jones in CO'
Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
1 [53 names] 'Cicero (@cicero)' [7.44 unique names/day]
2 [52 names] 'The Political Hat'
3 [46 names] 'The Third Horesman Of The Apocalypse'
4 [43 names] 'Brandon In Baton Rouge'
5 [43 names] 'Mallamutt, RINO President for Life'
6 [40 names] 'Buzzsaw90'
7 [39 names] 'derit'
8 [38 names] 'Islamic Rage Boy'
9 [34 names] 'Guy Mohawk'
10 [31 names] 'Truck Monkey'
The group. Yeah.
Where it's at - the Twitter
Tonight's post brought to you by Harry Truman's shoes:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send tips to Ace.
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Be Safe Out There (Niedermeyer's Dead Horse)
Terrible storms raging across the Midwest this afternoon and into the evening. Several tornadoes have developed as four states, IA, KS, OK, and WI are under alert.
To our fellow morons in the path, hunker down, stay safe, and we'll keep you in our prayers.
For those so inclined, updates and photos posted here.
Forrest Gump II [CBD]
First treatment of the planned sequel to Forrest Gump.
[Casting notes: Tom Hanks is too fat, but he has demonstrated that he can lose the weight, so let's try to get him to reprise his role. Haley Joel Osment is perfect for Forrest Jr. because he is a druggie, and has no career to speak of]
Prologue: Forrest is told by his doctor that he has AIDS, contracted from his grasping harpy of a dead wife.
1. In a panic, he begins to run, this time South to North, but fails to understand the effects of cold on exposed flesh. He loses two fingers on his right hand, all of his toes, and the tip of his nose to frostbite during a storm outside of Winnipeg.
2. He returns to Alabama to care for Forrest Junior, who becomes increasingly difficult to handle as he grows older and discovers that his father really is a dumb-shit.
3. Forrest Jr. begins to dabble in drugs and petty crime, and soon attracts the attention of the local police chief, who blackmails Forrest Sr. into paying him to keep Jr. out of jail.
4. Forrest Sr. finds Forrest Jr. shooting heroin, but believes his son’s explanation that “it’s just medicine for cold and cough.” Forrest Sr. tries it, and is soon a full-blown junkie. Because he hasn’t told his son that he has AIDS, Forrest Jr. shares his needles with his father, and soon is diagnosed with AIDS.
5. Forrest Sr. depletes his savings paying off the sheriff and trying every quack remedy and becomes destitute.
6. Camera pulls away as father and son run maniacally through the yard of the foreclosed house, chasing a feather.
Close it up
The Balls Deep Gaming thread
—Gang of Gaming Morons!
New Xbox reveal is on Tuesday at 1PM Eastern, lasts an hour and there will be a IRC chat happening through it. Hopefully there is more than myself in the room. Go to Freenode.net and in webchat, look for the #AOSHQ room
Hi, The Dude back with the weekly installment of gaming stuff. Quite week as everyone seems to be in a holding pattern till E3.
Maybe it's me but hearing a Namco PR dude say "balls deep" just makes me shake my head when talking about the upcoming Dark Souls 2. It's not a new phrase of course and some people at Riot (biggest game in the world, League of Legends) say it occasionally but something about a legit publisher just doesn't sit well. And of course the full quote is more hilarious for a PR dude than just saying balls deep: "We're going to go balls-deep and guns-blazing with it, and hope to God that it works," he continued." And as a hardcore fan of FROM (for the love of Christ, give me a new Otogi or Metal Wolf Chaos as US President Michael Wilson hasn't kicked enough ass in his mech) but they're not exactly a dev that should have a lot of cash put behind them in the west for advertising because as much as I love them, they don't have the technical grace of something on the level of a AAA game. I just see a massive advertising budget hurting them.
Big ass PC game sale started on Wednesday at Amazon, runs through the rest of the month
Furries get to rejoice as the interesting Dust: An Elysian Tail gets it's PC release date. Out on Friday for for $14.99
Sony gives a reason why you shouldn't buy a PS4 when it releases with the expected announcement of Gran Turismo 6 for the PS3 this upcoming Christmas season
I'm out, peace
Close it up
Senior Advisor to Obama: "The Law Is Irrelevant."
The White House has decided not to take seriously either the accelerating Benghazi scandal (more on that here) or the IRS scandal. Obama flatterist Dan Pfeiffer decided that "irrelevant" is the word of the day.
When asked on ABC’s This Week whether President Obama believes the IRS broke laws when it harassed conservative groups and released confidential donor information to Pro Publica, Pfeiffer dismissed the idea:
"I can’t speak to the law here. The law is irrelevant. The activity was outrageous and inexcusable, and it was stopped and it needs to be fixed so we ensure it never happens again."
There is a fundamental disconnect between the White House's actions and the White House's words on the IRS scandal. The White House has repeatedly claimed that the President is "outraged" over the targeting -- but there are surprisingly few actual consequences for outraging the leader of the free world. One of the folks involved in harassing conservatives got a promotion. Another got several thousands of dollars in bonuses. Even the thought of legal consequences is tossed aside as "irrelevant."
There seems to be a concerted effort to suggest that nothing illegal occurred at the IRS. For example, the Washington Post's Aaron Blake suggests that nobody is going to jail over the IRS thing because he cannot put their finger on just what crime occurred. Astonishingly, he misses the most obvious of crimes related to the IRS scandal -- the public release of confidential information, something punishable by up to a year's jail time.
Far from being irrelevant, the legality of IRS behavior is a key issue. We know that neither the IRS, nor the Obama Administration, is going to hold anyone seriously accountable for IRS malfeasance. The so-called resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, who was set to resign anyway, demonstrated that clearly. This gives us little choice but to turn to the law in the hopes that IRS officials can be scared into proper behavior and other federal bureaucrats can be deterred from similar misadventures in anti-conservative discrimination.
In Wake of Gosnell Atrocities, Where are Appeals for Debate? [krakatoa]
NOTE: This was originally set for early last week, but Scandalgate broke, and it was impossible to find a slot for it in prime-time.
Every tragedy in this country seems to be an excuse for the Left and its mouthpieces to yarble for a "Debate" on how to prevent children from suffering. Notably missing however, from both the media and their dutiful reader's endless litany of causes to be outraged over is, not so surprisingly, anything that has the potential to roast one of their sacred cows.
One line in Breitbart's article on the multiple guilty in the 1st degree verdicts in the Gosnell murder trial has me steaming a bit, as it repeats one of the Left's unexamined lies that, if I could borrow the eloquent words of Tank Girl, really works my titties.
Both sides of the abortion divide seized on the case. Abortion foes said it exposed the true nature of abortion in all its disturbing detail. Abortion rights activists warned that Gosnell's rogue practice foreshadows what poor and desperate young women could face if abortion is driven underground with more restrictive laws. [emphasis mine]
Here, let me take apart this abortion of an argument that so offends my sensibilities:
First: I'm not sure I see how having to get a medical procedure done by a clinic that actually has passed some minimal medical inspections is a burden on any patient. I do suppose that failing to use sterile instruments or clean linens and/or kitty-litter boxes does decrease some overhead, allowing those cost-savings to be passed on to
But one would be forgiven for thinking that in the regulation-addicted psyche of the average Leftist the concept of maintaining a safe environment for these procedures would be a no-brainer. Imagine, for clarity's sake, the wailing from the Left if regulatory control were lifted from Californian free-clinics that serve a large percentage of illegal immigrants.
Second: There is probably a reason Gosnell's clinic was so frequented by "poor and desperate" young women in search of late-term abortions, and I'd be willing (and yes, it goes without saying, racist) to hazard a guess that it has less to do with Gosnell's bargain rates and high volume, but rather that the phrase "poor and desperate" could be accurately and widely exchanged for any or all of the words & phrases "selfish, enthusiastically encouraged to abort over other alternatives, and incapable of using proper birth control".
Third: Given that the standard for inspecting clinics the past 15 years in Pa brought us precisely to this sad and horrifying end, I'd assert that the burden of proof lies on their side to prove that Gosnell's serial baby-murder shop is the "rogue" element in Abortion clinics.
Finally, if you want to illegally kill your late-term viable baby and the only way to get away with that murder is to find some back-alley butcher like Gosnell, I fail to see a real down side. Maybe you should have some skin in the game so you can make a fully-weighed choice. Does drastically improving the odds of survival for a life you actually care about offset one less month of inconveniently carrying your "parasite" to term, signing a few papers, and putting it up for adoption?
Or shorter: In the timeless words of Cliff Spab, So Fucking What, you callous, careless git!
And all this goes without exploring deeply the notion that the non-enforcement of laws which allowed the maniacal depredations of Gosnell is somehow a cautionary tale against more stringent laws in regards to late-term abortions. That is a self-serving logical contortion too righteously facile for my temperament to contemplate in more than a fleeting manner.
Nor do I address the overblown phenomena of back-alley abortions in the first place. Let me just say that I agree what few that occurred were horrible, but in my opinion they pale in comparison to the plight of poor hippy man-boys participating in drum-circles only to be violated by marauding bands of hyper-amorous and sexually indiscriminate moose.
I accept that exceptions to rules exist in all things. For instance, I can accept the choice for a late term abortion that is truly necessary to save the life of the mother; and I accept that a good argument for abortion can be made in the case of a severely deformed unborn baby. These are points where the debate lines blur.
So while I'd love to be able to take the Abortion-pushers' word that Gosnell was indeed an exception, his and several other "exceptions" provide what I think can be an acceptable point for people on both sides of the debate to agree that a serious investigation be opened into the influence the abortion "rights" lobbies have had on these sorts of medical procedures, and yes, on whether existing abortion restrictions go far enough.
The debate lines aren't blurry in cases like Gosnell's, and if we had a truly objective press whose agenda was the truth rather than an ideological quiche of special Leftist interests, those lines would have been debated decades ago and untold numbers of children's lives would have been saved.
Instead, from a media and a movement that is obsessed with the bodies of dead (and not-so-dead) children (and not-so-children) when it suits their narrative of the day, we got crickets on the substance of this trial, and either an ostentatious display of looking the other way to more important news like slutty-murderess Jodi Ariola (or whatever the hell her name is - I could never be bothered to pay any attention); or the obnoxious one of demonizing those who noted their self-serving hypocrisy.
This sordid story reveals one of the great ironies of Obama's legacy (as it were): One of the barbed arrows spent in service of Obamacare was the spurious argument that doctors perform unneeded amputations to bolster their bottom lines.
Now, here, we have a clear and proven example of abortion clinics performing unneeded late-term abortions for pure profit and macabre fun, and nary a peep from the establishment Left, much less Obama himself, that more regulation is the answer, much less that a debate be enjoined on a procedure they claim is a vanishingly narrow slice of the abortion pie.
Like so many other issues, the debate... the science... the law... is always settled whenever the topic has the potential to be an inconvenient wedge issue for the Left.
If one of the byproducts of abortions was a dead environmentally insignificant fish or three in some river delta or perhaps a few well-lubricated pelicans the Gulf of Mexico, there would have been a moratorium on them years ago.
But a dead baby, or 3, or 30 or...?
Eggs. Omelettes. Penumbras. You know the drill.
Close it up
Sunday Morning Book Thread 05-19-2013: Jedi Mind Tricks [OregonMuse]
This cartoon is clearly dated. There's room in that landspeeder for at least 2 or 3 more droids for the storm troopers to ignore.
Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to the the award-winning AoSHQ's Sunday Morning Book Thread.
The AoSHQ Amazon Store - Part Dieueueaueaoiux
OK, so I pulled out a few books by moron authors that I've
pimped mentioned on earlier threads and converted the Amazon links to AoSHQ format.
Let's start out with some books by the always perky and vivacious Sabrina Chase. First, her new one:
And this one:
And her Sequoyah series:
Next up, the 'Zombie Books of Survival' of George Milonas:
Here is Pat Chiles' sci-fi novel Perigee
Steve Poling's anthology of time travel stories Finding Time wherein everybody isn't doomed and the future doesn't suck.
I don't think this one is by a moron author, but it was recommended a bunch of times on earlier threads: They Tell Me I'm The Bad Guy by R.D. Harless. The main character is "funny, vulgar, lazy and a blackout alcoholic." In other words, he's a Moron.
Moron commenter John the Baptist wrote the moron-friendly Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Georgia History, which I discovered is just one of a series commemorating dead jerks in various parts of the country. Others in the series include Montana, Colorado, and Chicago.
Finally, Frank Fleming, who runs the hilarious IMAO blog, is kind of a moron himself. Well, be's more of a smartass, but that works, too. He's also the guy who wrote How to Fix Everything in America Forever: The Plan to Keep America Awesome. Fleming's legendary self-control and restraint are also on display in his other book Obama: The Greatest President in the History of Everything. I got it for free, but you schlubs will have to pay $1.99 for it. Note: this book is satire. It is not an anthology of quotes from MSNBC news programs.
Commenter Mitch e-mailed to recommend the Vanessa Michael Munroe novels by Taylor Stevens. Female action writers are sort of rare, kind of like female heavy metal guitarists, aren't they?
But get a load of this author's bio from Amazon:
Born in New York State, and into the Children of God, an apocalyptic religious cult spun from the Jesus Movement of the '60s, Stevens was raised in communes across the globe. Separated from her family at age twelve and denied an education beyond sixth grade, she lived on three continents and in a dozen countries before reaching fourteen. In place of schooling, the majority of her adolescence was spent begging on city streets at the behest of cult leaders, or as a worker bee child, caring for the many younger commune children, washing laundry and cooking meals for hundreds at a time. In her twenties, Stevens broke free in order to follow hope and a vague idea of what possibilities lay beyond. She now lives in Texas, and is at work on a fourth Munroe novel.
Wow. I can't imagine anyone being normal with that kind of a background. The emotional damage must be frightful. Anyway, The Informationist is the first book in the series that features a strong, female action hero. Ms. Stevens' bio makes it easy to believe she's been pushed around most of her life, and you have to wonder if writing these books is somehow therapeutic or cathartic for her.
Another Moronette Author
Longtime lurker/occasional commenter Anne Cleeland tells me in e-mail that she's lucky enough to have not one, but two (count 'em) two different print series coming out this summer.
One series is historical fiction set in the Regency period (Napoleonic spies) and the other is contemporary British detective.
The author's web page is at http://annecleeland.com.
So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, rumors, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So what have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as we all know, life is too short to read lousy books.
Close it up
Gun Thread (5-19-2013)
Feel Good Story of the Day
When you rob a house, you might want to know what's in the closet you're locking the homeowner in. Especially in Texas, where there just might be a gun or two.
The wounded man, believed to be in his 20s, was heard crying out in pain as he lay bleeding on the pavement.
Ahh, that line brings a smile to my face every time I read this story.
DC Sued Over David Gregory
Good on Professor Jacobson.
Judicial Watch, a leading government open records organization, announced today that it has filed suit on behalf of Legal Insurrection to obtain documents regarding David Gregory’s violation of the District of Columbia gun laws and the investigation which led to the decision of the District of Columbia Attorney General not to prosecute
Gun Of The Week
Gun Of The Week - Answer
Homicide Rates Before Guns
I ran across this interesting blog post on ancient homicide rates yesterday.
Though they note the difficulty of finding reliable historical records, it appears to provide support for the "God created man, Col. Colt made 'em equal" view of the world.
If there are topics you're interested in seeing in the gun thread, please send them to AoSHQGunThread at gmail. You can also send them to me on Twitter at @AndyM1911.
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Overnight Open Thread (18 May 2013)
War News Updates is a very good news aggregator for all topics military but they do cover other areas at times. Here's their take on the IRS coverup that is ongoing:
I am not an American .... just a Russian national who is now a Canadian citizen looking from the outside in .... and I am just shaking my head. There is something terribly wrong in the U.S. right now .... when the IRS has been politicized to go after a specific political group, it does not take a 'political scientist and historian' to know that you are entering a very dark place .... and being one who grew up in such a place (the former Soviet Union) .... trust me on this one .... it is a place that you do not want to find yourself living in.
Image via Looking Spoon.
Femen Hates Barbie
Beware the yellow light
I expect this to occur in more communities across the country as municipalities need more revenue. Florida quietly shortened yellow light standards and lengths, resulting in more red light tickets for you. Not a very safe thing to do to drivers.
But there are few tangible safety benefits to short yellow lights. In fact, they appear to have the opposite effects; according to the USDOT and FHA, short yellow lights raise crash rates.
"A one second increase in yellow time results in 40 percent decrease in severe red light related crashes," the report said.
Jim Walker said shortening a driver's window for reacting to a yellow light creates more difficult split-second decisions, which can lead to more rear end collisions too. And he contends most serious accidents aren't coming from the "innocent driver" who gets caught by a short yellow. They're caused by blatant red light runners who will run a light regardless of yellow light length.
Death Star Destroys The Enterprise
I can already see the J. J. Abrams influence. Needs more lens flare though.
Of course it involves CNN. CNN anchors do satellite interview with each other while sitting only 30 feet apart. The news, where they make shit up like it's a movie or something.
Producers at CNN apparently thought viewers wouldn’t notice that anchors Nancy Grace of HLN/Headline News and Ashleigh Banfield of Newsroom were standing no more than 30 feet way from one another as they manipulated the footage and placed Grace on Banfield’s right instead of her left.
The blatant visual gimmick aired Tuesday morning as the two correspondents reported on the latest details behind the horrific Cleveland kidnapping story and pretended they were conducting a remote interview, as the Atlantic Wire pointed out soon after.
Earlier this week over in Britain, they held a ceremonial flyover celebrating their audacious dambuster raid that occurred 70 years ago. Click here for a close up of the above graphic detailing the Dambusters Raid. Pretty sweet to see a Lancaster bomber still flying.
The Aviationist has video as seen from the cockpit of the Lancaster as it does its flyover.
In other news, the US Navy made history by launching the X-47 from the USS George H. W. Bush. The first ever UAV launched from an aircraft carrier.
Air Force In The Dark
Sequester forcing major Air Force base to work in the dark. OK. Really. Just a bit of hyperventilating here. Yes commands are turning off lights and micromanaging the air conditioning to save a few bucks but c'mon, if sequester is causing this, just wait then until real cuts hit. BTW, where's all that green energy stuff that is free like wind and solar that the military has been spending billions on?
Keep an eye on this site over the next few days as the sun as been particularly active this past week. Sunspot 1748 is now in a position that if it were to have a CME associated solar flare, it would most likely be Earth bound. Some folks in the northern latitudes got some nice aurora borealis last night from a CME that brushed past us from an earlier solar flare from that sunspot. Another CME is expected to brush past us tomorrow. You can see here the visibility probability of seeing aurora borealis.
Heh. The 300 soundtrack was a nice touch.
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Laugh At These Losers
A bunch of Toronto Maple Leafs fans videotaped themselves watching Game 7 of the Leafs vs. Bruins game on Monday.
It turned out to be a brutal cock-puncher of a game. Pretty funny. Don't feel bad laughing at them. They're probably all Canadian.
Fly Lutheran Airlines [OregonMuse]
I would totally fly on this airline, you betcha.
Feel Good About Marines and Dogs
—Dave In Texas
When Gundlach saw Casey, he put his head in his hands and cried. She licked his face, wagging her tail furiously. "It was a total surprise," he said. "I owe her. I'll just try to give her the best life I can."
Casey and Sgt. Ross Gundlach served on over 150 missions together. They are together again.
via the Man of Substance
Home Improvement -- electrical quandries [Purp]
I was replying to someone's question on some forum and couldn't get the freaking captcha shit to work and couldn't post it, so rather than wasting all this typing I did on a perfectly good answer, I'm making it a home improvement post.
The dude in question got red tagged on an inspection and wanted to know why. He had a 12-2 Romex and 14-3 Romex in the same box, and a couple of switches feeding lights. His description of his issue was horrible and didn't actually describe the precise situation, but here we go....
"Regarding new construction wiring and running 12/2 and 14/3 wire in the same box."
Are there two branch circuits here or one?
If one circuit. i.e. lights, If the #14 is going to lights and the #12 is the same circuit from the panel powering the lights (power inbound from panel, power outbound to lights), then you'd be REQUIRED to use a 15A breaker on that circuit.
I'll frequently come heavy out of a panel to reduce voltage drop over long runs, or because of derating issues in a hot attic, then drop down in size as it gets near the loads or dives down into walls. General rule for mixing wire sizes on residential work: breakers/fuses get sized to the smallest wire on a branch. If you're bucks down with a bunch of scraps laying around and don't want to invest in a bunch of new wire, yea, you can mix sizes and use them up if you know what you're doing.
Other than blowing out a box fill requirement(3), there's absolutely nothing in the code that prohibits mixing wire sizes on any particular branch as long as the smallest size wire is big enough for the breaker/fuse and doesn't run into derating issues with pipe fill(1), ambient temperature(2) and such.
If there are two circuits (and two breakers/fuses), say a 20A on the 12/2, and a 15A on the 14/3, that too is permitted, BUT if the two branches land on a device (ex. a split feed receptacle, or a stack switch with the hot interconnect tab busted off making it essentially two completely distinct switches), THEN the 15A and 20A breakers MUST be placed side by side and connected with a "handle tie". Separate circuits that do not land on the same devices aren't required to have handle tie on breakers, but its something I usually do anyway so the next guy has a clue about what's going on. The handle tie is a clue that there's multiple live circuits on devices somewhere downstream.
All grounds in a box must be spliced together regardless of wire size(4). The only exception to this is isolated ground circuits...you won't find too many of those in residential situations.
Another possibility for this fellow getting red tagged is he's become a victim of a new electric code change -- starting with the 2011 NEC, switch loops for lights (which electricians have used for 100+ years) where there's not a neutral wire sent down into the box too have been made illegal. You can thank California and its obsession with occupancy sensors for that one. One state's crazy became a national requirement. The current to run occupancy sensors in a switch loop situation had been using the ground as a way to complete a circuit. The current was only milliamps, but when enough of them got added up on any given circuit, they were causing Arc-Fault breakers to trip. All Arc-Fault breakers include 30ma worth of ground fault protection, so excessive leakage on the ground trips them.
(1) In situations where there's more than 3 current carrying conductors in a conduit consult the NEC derating charts to figure out how much the wire needs to be upsized.
(2) When running wire through abnormally warm locations (like attics) you need to take the ambient temperature into account when sizing wire. There's extensive tables in the NEC covering all the temperature ranges and insulation types.
(3) You can't just jam as much shit as you want into an electrical box. The NEC has specific fill limits requiring a certain number of cubic inches of volume be available for each wire in the box. Those values vary by wire size. Sometimes something will be "book legal" and you'll have problems jamming all the shit in anyway. This happens a lot with GFCI receptacles and dimmers that take up inordinate amounts of space.
(4) All the grounds in a box count as one wire for box fill calculations -- the largest one. If you had say 3 14ga, 2 12ga, and 210ga grounds in a box, all that shit counts as ONE 10ga wire for box fill purposes and gets spliced together. Even though all the grounds only count as one, they can take up a shitload of volume and make stuffing a box a real challenge.
Close it up
Amnesty Supporter Explains How Conservatives Can Appeal To Hispanics. Spoiler: It Involves Unicorns And Underwear Gnomes.
One of my great frustrations with amnesty supporters who claim once we pass amnesty Hispanic-Americans will give Republicans/conservatives a chance to win their vote is they never explain how this will work. On average Hispanics have shown in word and deed, that they are liberals, more liberal in fact than the population on the whole (see here and here).
Don't believe me...believe them.
So with the background in mind, here's Arthur Brooks the head of the American Enterprise Institute 3 step plan for how conservatives can appeal to Hispanics.
Step 1: Tell them how much Republicans support the welfare system
First, make it clear that the safety net for the indigent and needy is not the source of our fiscal problems. It is the safety net for everyone else—the able-bodied, the middle class, and corporate cronies—that is driving our country to insolvency. . . .
This will mean the GOP giving up any rhetoric about shrinking government. Even accepting that there will be a safety-net, you can't talk about how government is too big, too incompetent and too destructive of personal initiative. It means giving up saying in order to re-balance incentives the amount and scope of the "safety net" will have to be cut.
Not only is Brooks admitting Hispanics don't want to hear the GOP's message on welfare, he's expecting the GOP to able to suddenly have a sophisticated messaging plan that can communicate that we want to cut government, just not the government you like.
Once you accept that current welfare spending is fine, you commit to a bidding war with the Democrats who will always agitate to increase that spending.
Well, let's see the rest of the plan. It can't get worse, right?
Step 2: Less government
put education reform in poor communities front and center. Today, students from low-income families are five times as likely to drop out of school as students from high-income families, according to data from the Department of Education. It is a civil-rights scandal that we effectively accept this opportunity-denying status quo. Conservatives must be the warriors for pro-child, pro-parent, pro-innovation and pro-choice education reforms.
The wording here is vague. He doesn't explicitly call for promoting charter schools, vouchers and the rest of the conservative education reform agenda to Hispanics.
So let's take a look at the two options:
1- These "pro-child, pro-parent, pro-innovation and pro-choice education reforms" are aimed at working within the current pubic education, teacher union based system.
That's not what conservative educator reformers have been working on for years. Now we're supposed to "fix" education without the incentives of traditional conservative reform proposals?
2. What Brooks is talking about is selling Hispanics on things like vouchers and charter schools.
That seems like a no brainer for conservatives but we ignore in Step 1 we tell Hispanics we aren't looking to cut back on government programs. And now we're telling them we want to cut back on public school funding by moving the money to alternative educational programs.
This is getting crazy.
Oh and the problem with telling Hispanics we don't think the government is any good at running education? See the chart above...on the whole Hispanics trust the government and want it to do more than most other groups. How is telling them, "We're taking something very important to you away from the institution you trust" going to win votes?
Ok, maybe the 3rd point will save the day for Team Amnesty.
Step 3: Hmmmm.
Third, . . . [conservatives] should fight every day to get the government out of the way of a healthy culture for vulnerable American families.
Hispanics: You know, we like government. A lot. In fact, we want more of it!
GOP Team Amnesty: "We understand and to win you over we're going to "get the government out of the way". You're welcome!"
I appreciate that Brooks is honest enough to layout a vision for how Republicans can win over Hispanics but if this is the best they can do, they should keep quiet. This plan to win over Hispanics requires a combination of abandoning conservative principles and ignoring the reality of the Hispanic community in America.
Of course as an opponent of amnesty, I hope they keep talking like this. It makes our job easier.
May 18, 1945 The Battle of Sugar Loaf Hill on Okinawa
—Dave In Texas
The Sixth Marine Division was given the task of taking the mound called Sugar Loaf, and it would prove costly. By the time the area was considered secure, 1,656 Marines would be dead and another 7,429 wounded. Regiments were reduced to company strength, and companies to platoon size. Platoons and squads simply ceased to exist in some cases. It took 11 tries during a 12-day period and ate up most of three regiments before the hill was taken. Why this was so, and how the hill was eventually taken, is the subject of James Hallas’ World War II book, “Killing Ground on Okinawa: The Battle for Sugar Loaf Hill.”
There is an elderly gentleman I know here in my town in central Texas. I've known him and we've been friends for 22 years. He was in this fight when he was 19 years old.
Every time I shake his hand I appreciate his service. But we don't say anything about it. Unspoken respect.
But the cost had been tremendous. Over nearly two weeks, regiments had been reduced to company strength, and companies to platoons. Many platoons were wiped out to a man. More than 1,600 Marines died in the fight for this 50-foot-high strongpoint, with another 7,400 wounded.
Close it up
Saturday Morning Open Thread
Hope you all have a great weekend.
Overnight Open Thread (17 May 2013)
Good luck to all you morons who are playin' Powerball or MegaMillions. Of course, you'd have better odds just playing some poker with your neighbors or playing some blackjack at the local casino but hey, it is fun to dream of winning a large jackpot like that.
At this point in scandalpalooza, I don't think the IRS can ever be trusted to do their job in a non-political, professional way. Not when you have a largely unioned work force that overwhelmingly donates and supports Democrats and is largely incompetent. Are you willing to now trust them to oversee Obamacare compliance? I'm not. I have zero faith in their ability to their jobs in a fair and impartial way. Factor in the Administration's response by asking for resignations from someone who was retiring anyway and from another guy who had been in the job a week, they really aren't serious in addressing what is wrong with the IRS. Resignations aren't enough either. Jail time needs to happen. You know, serious repercussions. Otherwise it's like the 4 State Department folks that got fired for Benghazi. They lay low, wait a bit and then come right on back into a job paid for with taxpayer money.
Now, in regard as to how to proceed, I think Ben Domenech is exactly right here. Republicans and the long game.
Here’s the hard thing Republicans have to do if they don’t want this crisis to go to waste: they have to ignore their id, the temptation of the sugar high of partisan point-scoring. They must willfully set aside Obama’s presence in the fray, leaving the short term personalized attacks on the table, and go after the much bigger prize. Obama isn’t running for office again. Liberalism is. Making this about him is a short term boost to the pleasure center of the conservative brain. Making this about the inherent falsehood of the progressive project will help conservatism win.
The point is that these scandals cut at the core conceit of Obama’s ideology: the healthy and enduring confidence of big government to be good government.
Rising PBR Price
A cheap glass of beer is fast becoming an endangered species in New York City - and you can blame Pabst Blue Ribbon-swilling hipsters for that.
They are the reason why "sub-premium" beer prices in the city have climbed 9.4% in the last seven months, say Restaurant Sciences, which tracks food and beverage sales nationwide.
"I believe the single biggest driver in sub-premium beer price increases is indeed specifically PBR," said Chuck Ellis, who heads the research company. "It has become quite fashionable."
Damn hippies. Is val-u-rite next?
Not too shabby for a system that does not work (if you listen to Democrats). MDA destroys ballistic missile in successful BMD test.
The target missile – fired from a test range in Hawaii at 5:25 p.m. local time on Wednesday – was detected by the SPY-1 radar aboard USS Lake Erie (CG-70). The ship launched a SM-3 Block IB equipped with a BMD kill vehicle that successfully destroyed the simulated threat missile in low Earth orbit.
But don't forget, the President is now in his more "flexible" time that he alluded to Medvedev last year so I get a bit concerned when I hear the Pentagon plans to share missile secrets with Russia.
This is one sweet ass ride. Man puts plane engine in motorbike.
This is the Red Baron - a chopper powered by a 150hp nine-cylinder Rotec Radial R3600 aircraft engine. Unbelievably, working out the fiendishly complex engineering involved in transferring drive to the rear of the engine, and building a custom chassis (not to mention painting, suspension, electronics...) took its owner, Frank Ohle, just 18 months.
Meet Pep, the dog who was sentenced to life in prison in 1924 for killing the governor's cat. Actually, the cat killin' part was made up by a reporter (stuff we still see in today's news) and he really wasn't sentenced to life in prison.
The account of him killing the cat was entirely fictitious, made up by a newspaper reporter taking a touch more than his fair share of journalistic licence.
The editor loved the story as it was frequently reprinted bearing the mugshot picture.
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Is There Not One Person Employed By This Enormous Government That Is Aware Of Anything?
Pentagon furious w/Russia over new arms shipments to Syria. State Dept: We don't know anything about it. Russia: We've made no secret of it.— Brit Hume (@brithume) May 17, 2013
This is beyond. This is beyond.
More accountable government highlights from this week below.
If You Thought Campus Speech Codes Were Too Permissive, Take Heart!
The Government Is Now Demanding They Make Them Uniformly Stricter
There is a legal concept of a hypothetical person, called the Reasonable Objective Person.
In cases where someone claims, for example, to have been offended, the law doesn't just say "give this person some money or other legal satisfaction because she says she's upset." That would be a subjective standard, in which every delicate eggshell limits your ability to move through the world.
Usually they say the question is not about how the complaining witness claims she felt subjectively herself, but how the Reasonable Objective Person in her shoes would have thought.
Note the Reasonable Objective Person standard limits this sort of complaint, because while a very thin-skinned complainant might honestly be offended, that doesn't mean she wins the case. She was, subjectively, offended. But the question remains-- would the Reasonable Objective Person have been offended? If not, an honest but overreacting complainant is told she loses.
But no more. Now the government says this Reasonable Objective Person standard is sexist and racist.
The letter contends the conduct in question need not be offensive to an "objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation." That means that there is effectively no check on what might count as harassment.
Now we're all going to be judged by the standard of the thinnest-skinned, complainiest people who exist, and the Reasonable Objective Person will have nothing to say about it.
Couple of Funny Things Involving Marriage
Husband of the year, from @conartcritic.
Guy got arrested for soliciting a prostitute.
Wait for it.
On his honeymoon.
Would this face lie to you?
Or have whore-sex?
Top twenty worst wedding dresses. Mild content warning as some of them are little risque, such as The Vagina Gown, which has one those Vagina People puppet-vaginas in the front.
And then there's this one. Content warning -- This is a classy, classy gal who really wants you to notice that she has breasts.
I owe someone an h/t for that. But I forget who.
This picture makes me doubt they'll have children.
Friday Afternoon Request Line
Ace was talking about this excellent song on Twitter. It may possibly be the #1 hit of the '80s.
Kidding of course. What a piece of crap that is.
"Abracadabra" is now only the 2nd most horrifying thing associated with the name Steve Miller— DepressiveBlogger69 (@AceofSpadesHQ) May 17, 2013
Worst songs in history. Go!
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Bumped: Rep. Mike Kelly Rips Into Man Wearing Dead Poodle on His Head
Everyone seems to be talking about this clip, which received a standing ovation in the chamber.
Linked below. Oh, for those of the Twitter-centric persuasion, he can be followed at @MikeKellyPA.
NYT: Senior Officials in Administration Were Told That the IG Was Investigating the IRS for Targeting Tea Party Groups Five Months Before The Election
I juiced the headline but only slightly -- senior Treasury officials were told, and they are senior staffers of the Administration.
The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was investigating the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year.
Now this does not get you to Barack Obama himself, but "senior Treasury officials" are not strangers to the President. They are not far-flung functionaries.
Obama's claim that he "didn't know" until last Friday is looking... like a lie.
Piers Morgan, Joe Scarborough: Golly Gee Willickers, I Guess When We Were Constantly Calling Anyone Skeptical of the Integrity of Government "Crazy," Maybe We Were Sorta Wrong or Something
I was just asking Piers Morgan: He was the sophisticated, urbane one for claiming the government could be trusted with every conceivable power to interfere with our lives, and we all were the yokels who thought that maybe flawed people, working for a powerful corporation whose business was exerting control over one group of citizens at the behest of another group, maybe could not in fact be so completely trusted?
Apparently "sophistication" consists of forcing your brain to believe daft, stupid, childish things.
Anyway, as these two jackass ponces love flattering themselves, I'm sure that in a couple of days they'll have assembled a Narrative in which they may have been wrong, but they were Wrong for the Right, Rationalist Reasons.
Links are to Hot Air and videos below are from NR, so you don't have to worry about Feeding the Beast.
Cover-Up: When a FOIA Request Demanded Any Documents Specifically Mentioning the Tea Party, the IRS Claimed That No Documents Could Be Found Responsive to This Request
By the way, you know that whole First Spin that the IRS tax-exempt branch was forced to basically triage applications with Exciting New BOLO Procedures because they got such a huge crash of new applications?
Mind blown, huh?
In fact, in 2010, when they began this BOLO program (Be On the Look Out for "Tea Party" or "Patriot" names in applications), applications were down from 2009. It was not until the following year, in 2011, when they spiked up.
NR, Two Days Ago: IRS May Have Planted Question That Publicly Revealed Scandal
Miller, Today: IRS May Have Planted Question That Publicly Revealed Scandal
Why would they set up a question for Lori Lehrner to answer? I image so they could claim they'd disclosed the matter themselves, and apologized for it, in advance of an IG report that was about to blow up.
The question at the ABA conference came from Washington-based tax lawyer Celia Roady, a lobbyist in the firm of Morgan Lewis. Roady is certainly well-versed in the issue at hand: She was named to the influential Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities in 2010 by Douglas Shulman, at that time commissioner of the IRS. Lerner is the director for tax-exempt organizations at the IRS. Roady was serving on the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities while tea-party groups and other conservative organizations were being targeted by the IRS. Not exactly a question out of the blue — Capitol Hill sources described the question as “planted” and say the IRS has informally admitted as much.
And today Miller confirms this.
Miller indicated today that Roady was in fact instructed by the IRS to ask the question, and the Lerner knew about the question in advance.
“Who told her to ask the question?” asked Republican representative Kenny Marchant.
“I don’t know, actually, I’m not sure, might have been Lois Lerner,” Miller responded. He went on to say that the IRS intended simultaneously to inform Congress, but admitted the agency only inquired about the congressional calendar.
The planted question reveals coordination at high levels of the IRS with regard to the disclosure of the sensitive information. Lerner and Miller testified before Congress two days before Lerner addressed the ABA, but said nothing about the IRS’s scrutiny of Tea Party groups.
Nonetheless, Miller maintained, “I always answered questions truthfully.”
So when Congress asked, they said nothing about it, but then when the IG Report was about to embarrass them, they created a fake question in order to appear they were being forthcoming and candid in answering random questions from a crowd.
Draw your own conclusions.
Idiocracy Was Not a Movie. Idiocracy Was a Documentary Beamed Backwards in Time From the Future.
Stockton's new mayor finishes speech by donning a gladiator helmet and wielding a mace. Or morningstar. It's unclear, the exact difference between them.
It wasn't a glaive-guisarme or bec-de-corbin. That's all I know.
Now, actually, Stockton's in dire straits due to financial collapse, so maybe they need some kind of hero. Not the hero Stockton wants -- but the hero Stockton needs.
Link Fixed--I Hope. I've never had so much trouble posting a damn video and link.
Via @irenefingirene and @polliwogette
IRS Made Calculated Decision to Not Confess to Political Scandal Until After the 2012 Elections
If the organization is nonpartisan, and, as Obama always wants to remind us, "independent," why would Obama's electoral fortunes have weighed into their decision on whether or not to perpetuate a lie?
The IRS commissioner "has known for at least a year that this was going on," said Myers, "and that this had happened. And did he share any of that information with the White House? But even more importantly, Congress is going to ask him, why did you mislead us for an entire year? Members of Congress were saying conservatives are being targeted. What's going on here? The IRS denied it. Then when -- after these officials are briefed by the IG that this is going on, they don't disclose it. In fact, the commissioner sent a letter to Congress in September on this subject and did not reveal this. Imagine if we -- if you can -- what would have happened if this fact came out in September 2012, in the middle of a presidential election? The terrain would have looked very different."
Video at link (safe link to Weekly Standard).
Steve Miller: I Did Actually Ask About Who Was Responsible For This.
Who Did They Say Was Responsible? Uhhh, Can't Remember.
Oh, by the way, he was also asked if he made any notes about these matters. Notes which could be subpoenaed.
His answer: "I don't remember."
Kimberly Strassel: Obama Set the Tone, the IRS Executed It
President Obama and Co. are in full deniability mode, noting that the IRS is an "independent" agency and that they knew nothing about its abuse. The media and Congress are sleuthing for some hint that Mr. Obama picked up the phone and sicced the tax dogs on his enemies.
But that's not how things work in post-Watergate Washington. Mr. Obama didn't need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he'd like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.
Mr. Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do. "He put a target on our backs, and he's now going to blame the people who are shooting at us?" asks Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot.
And of course there's more there.
Peggy Noonan is also worth reading.
We are in the midst of the worst Washington scandal since Watergate. The reputation of the Obama White House has, among conservatives, gone from sketchy to sinister, and, among liberals, from unsatisfying to dangerous. No one likes what they're seeing. The Justice Department assault on the Associated Press and the ugly politicization of the Internal Revenue Service have left the administration's credibility deeply, probably irretrievably damaged. They don't look jerky now, they look dirty. The patina of high-mindedness the president enjoyed is gone.
Something big has shifted. The standing of the administration has changed.
As always it comes down to trust. Do you trust the president's answers when he's pressed on an uncomfortable story? Do you trust his people to be sober and fair-minded as they go about their work? Do you trust the IRS and the Justice Department? You do not.
The president, as usual, acts as if all of this is totally unconnected to him. He's shocked, it's unacceptable, he'll get to the bottom of it. He read about it in the papers, just like you.
But he is not unconnected, he is not a bystander. This is his administration. Those are his executive agencies. He runs the IRS and the Justice Department.
A president sets a mood, a tone. He establishes an atmosphere. If he is arrogant, arrogance spreads. If he is to too partisan, too disrespecting of political adversaries, that spreads too. Presidents always undo themselves and then blame it on the third guy in the last row in the sleepy agency across town.
IRS Hearings On Capitol Hill
The IRS hearing on Capitol Hill has begun. At the moment, notorious tax cheat and scumbag Charlie Rangel is speaking.
Don't worry, the administration and Democrats will get to the bottom of this. They have their best low level men working on this. Low Level Men!
Live feed below the jump.
It Depends on What the Definition of "Is" Is [Rick Tempest]: Every scandal needs a catchphrase, and Steve Miller just offered one up.
Speaking of his previous testimony, he said:
"It was inccorect but not untruthful."
Miller just also asked for more money for the IRS, so that they could do their jobs better.
Friday Morning News Dump
- Low Information Americans Not Paying Attention To Obama Scandals
- Want To Keep Obama's IRS Scandal In The News? Use Dem Tactics Against Them
- Detroit's So Broke That It's Sending Trustees To Hawaii
- Venezuela Facing A Toilet Paper Shortage
- Another Gosnell?
- What Kind Of Person Fakes A Right-Wing Hate Crime Against Themselves
- Barack Obama's Bizarre Movie Idol
- Toronto Mayor Involved In Crack Cocaine Scandal
- The News Agency Obama Was Spying On Is Still Licking His Boots
- Michael Barone: In Defense Of Jason Richwine And Charles Murray
- Jay Carney Has Really Enjoyed This Past Week
- Woodward, "I Would Not Dismiss Benghazi"
- This Is Why I Never Jump On Those Hero Of The Week Stories
- Man Arrested For Rubbing A Pepperoni On His 'Pepperoni' In A Grocery Store
Sorry for the short news dump, my dog rolled in deer crap this morning and I had to spend 30 minutes washing it out.
Top Headline Comments 5-17-13
Thank goodness it's the weekend.
Close it up
Overnight Open Thread (5-16-2013)
On Tuesday the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and accused him of being a CIA agent and attempting to recruit a Russian as an agent.
The FSB also released a list of the equipment he was carrying: wigs, sunglasses, lots of cash, a map, compass, a recruitment letter, cellphone, flashlight, pocket knife, key holder, pepper spray, batteries, notebook, and a cigarette lighter.
It's decidedly lo-tech but then there's no school like the old school. Hell I carry about half of this on a daily basis - and more when I'm out looking to have a pretty good weekend in Vegas.
"Unfortunately you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all of our problems. Some of these same voices do their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self rule is somehow just a sham with which we can't be trusted."
-- Barack Obama (May 6, 2013)
It's the Original Enemy and there's no hate like your first one.
Because they are locked forever in an ideological time warp, says Wiker, liberals (or Progressives or Leftists or whatever else they call themselves to avoid the taint their ideas leave behind) cannot contemplate the possibility that there is another enemy, greater than their old foe Christianity. Which brings me to a post I did today for Mr. Conservative. It concerns Michael 'Mikey' Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and one of the most rabid anti-Christians you will ever meet.
When I wrote the post this morning, it made me uncomfortable that such a venomous man is somehow Jewish, whether genetically or in actual practice. I hate to see that kind of hatred emanate from a group with which I'm affiliated. However, having read Wiker's essay, I realize that my concern is unfounded. Weinstein's hostility to Christians isn't because he's Jewish, it's because he's a Leftist.
Plus a lot of Leftism basically comes down to opposing whatever middle America likes.
Courtesy of the DoJ and the DoEd.
In a letter sent yesterday to the University of Montana that explicitly states that it is intended as "a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country," the Departments of Justice and Education have mandated a breathtakingly broad definition of sexual harassment that makes virtually every student in the United States a harasser while ignoring the First Amendment. The mandate applies to every college receiving federal funding-virtually every American institution of higher education nationwide, public or private.
The letter states that "sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as 'any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature'" including "verbal conduct" (that is, speech). It then explicitly states that allegedly harassing expression need not even be offensive to an "objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation"-if the listener takes offense to sexually related speech for any reason, no matter how irrationally or unreasonably, the speaker may be punished.
So hitting on a girl at a campus party will now involve the risk of rejection and prosecution.
Well apparently that describes the recent film, "Upstream Color".
In "Upstream Color," the hero is a parasitic worm. (The role seems to have been played by a mealworm, the pale, segmented larva of a common beetle.) We first see it being shaken out of the root bundle of an orchid by someone identified in the credits as "the Thief," who has detected the worm's presence by a telltale blue scale on the orchid's leaves. Teens help the Thief find such orchids; the teens' reward is Diet Coke that a larva has percolated in, a shared swig of which seems to impart the power to synchronize their movements even with closed eyes. In the hands of the Thief, the neurotoxin is put to a more practical use. Outside a nightclub, he assaults a woman named Kris (played by an exquisite Amy Seimetz) and, using a plastic medical device, forces a worm down her throat in order to brainwash her. Once she's under the worm's spell, he tells her that she's unable to look at him because his head is made of the same substance as the sun and commands her to turn the equity in her house into cash, which she surrenders along with a strongbox of precious coins. To stall her while he works, and then while he makes his getaway, the Thief also imposes elaborate and apparently nonsensical tasks, including the transcription and memorization of Thoreau's "Walden."
And that's just the beginning.
Most of what you know about the Tarot isn't true.
But tarot cards were still meant to tell fortunes, right?
Nope. The 78-card deck was actually used for playing trick-taking games, along the general lines of Spades or Bridge. A popular variant, French Tarot, is still played widely, especially in (as one might expect) France.
Farley and Spade made a good Laurel and Hardy pair - it's a shame Chris died just a year or two after this movie.
Land lines aren't totally useless. For long time I kept a land line with classic old analog phone that works off of the line power just for emergencies. But the price for even minimal phone service just kept going up so I finally dropped it.
And speaking of phones here's an 1885 audio recording of Alexander Graham Bell speaking that was recovered by optically scanning the fragile disc.
Daily PSA I: Be Wary of the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker
Yahoo group. That is all.
And my Twitter spew.
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Close it up
Official In Charge of Tax-Exempt Division During Scandal Now Head of ObamaCare Enforcement Division
The woman actually in charge of the tax-exempt division during the scandal, who oversaw the political persecution of Tea Partiers?
Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today.
So she gets a promotion, and her successor, who knew about the scandal and didn't tell anyone but did not actually oversee it, takes the fall.
And another Fall Guy has been offered, too-- the current commissioner of the tax-exempt division is now resigning.
But he was appointed to this position just eight days ago.
We don't know yet if this is a complete farce, but it sure looks like one.
The worst case scenario is if he was just promoted to a higher position so that Obama could announce "Another high-ranking official has been asked to resign."
We don't know yet what he was promoted from. But we do need to know.
So this guy, who may have been promoted to the position just to be fired from it, takes the fall, while the woman actually responsible for the regime is now enforcing ObamaCare.
How many flunkies are going to be made to fall on their swords to avoid the call for the resignation of Sarah Hall Ingram?
Meanwhile, two pro-life groups were denied 501(c)4 status. It gets worse.
“In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” the Thomas More Society announced today. “Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.”
Get In Their Faces: Was their a link between Obama's "Fight the Smears" snitch-on-your-neighbors-for-free-speech site and IRS retribution?
During the debate over adopting ObamaCare the White House encouraged liberal activists to report Obama’s critics to a “Flag@WhiteHouse.gov” email address. At least one of those reported tells RedState.com editor Erick Erickson he was then targeted with audits. “Remember that website Obama set up to report neighbors who opposed Obamacare? A friend reported himself and got audited shortly thereafter,” Erickson tweeted May 13.
“We need to know if there were any others. This certainly fits the rapidly-expanding pattern of people who criticize Obama suddenly finding themselves targeted by the IRS,” said Stockman. “Obama’s IRS scandal is spreading like a cancer.”
Bonus: To be more precise, Sarah Hall Ingram received over $100,000 in bonuses for her yeowoman work from 2010 to 2012.