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August 01, 2014

House Passes Border Bill With One Democratic Supporter; Also Passing Bill to Defund DACA


The ONT is below -- I thought I should get this up, as it's breaking news.

I'll bump it below the ONT in an hour or so.


The Democrats in the Senate have already said they won't vote for either bill.

In fact, Harry Reid probably won't call the Senate back to vote on it.

But a bill has now been passed in the House.

The GOP bill was split into two parts, neither of which held appeal for Democrats.

The second bill, still under debate Friday night, would block funding for future expansion of Obama’s 2012 executive action that stops the deportation of young people who came here illegally as children. Republicans say this executive order has served as the lure that has attracted Central American children and families to come here, believing they can also be granted legal status.

"This border crisis is of the president’s own making," Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Pa., said.

The main legislative vehicle approved Friday night provides $659 million for humanitarian aide, strengthened border security and additional immigration judges. It also adds $35 million to grant border state governors the autonomy to pay for sending the National Guard to the border without needing federal funds.

The bill also changes a 2008 trafficking victims law so that the Obama administration will be able to speed deportation of minors from Central America, where most of the children have migrated from.

The DACA bill will, if I understand this right, forbid the spending of funds to process DACA applications (defunding it), either of all DACA applicants or new arrivals, and forbid another Executive Amnesty.

Jeff Sessions intends to make the Democrats own their votes against the bills.

Sessions added that the fight in the Senate is "only beginning" and called on Senate Democrats to join him, all Senate Republicans, and Manchin in opposing Obama’s planned executive amnesty--or be "held to account."

"Now that the House has passed this measure to block the President's unlawful actions, we will demand that every Senate Democrat be held to account," Sessions said. "We will fight, and keep fighting, for its passage. I appeal tonight to all Americans: ask your Senator where they stand on President Obama’s executive amnesty. Ask them where they stand on protecting unemployed citizens from a plan which will give work permits and jobs to millions of illegal workers."

Posted by Ace at 10:22 PM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (1 Aug 2014)


Ahhh, first day of August. Hopefully some summer weather will show up here. At least on the east coast. It has been feeling like late September, early October lately.

Sigh. It should be real easy for the GOPe to run ads that highlight the issues that Americans face/will face because of Democrats pushing the border crisis, but they're stuck on stupid and continue to try and pass something that makes it look like they're doing something about it.

Less off Americans are beginning to realize this Democrat President has thrown them under the bus – or at least under a wave of cheap labor who will also drain limited state support systems for the less fortunate. Just wait until the long lines are everywhere, packed with people from outside our country competing for the fruits of America. From schools to emergency rooms, free clinics to DMVs, Americans are going to be competing with unwanted ‘guests’ in many parts of this country. And they will have a Democrat President to thank.

If you stand up for Americans, the votes will come.

Continue reading

Posted by CDR M at 10:00 PM Comments

Of Course


Of course.

Of course.

Posted by Ace at 07:20 PM Comments

NASA Confirms The Plausibility of Reactionless Drives??!!


Let me geek out on you (I love science) and explain to you the science (I love science) and why this had previously been confined to the pages of science fiction (I am a nerd; and oh Dear Sweet Bunsen-Burner Lighting Lord, do I love science).

So it's a pretty firmly established principle that every act causes, and requires, an equal and opposite reaction.

If I understand this right (did I mention I love science?), this means that any space vessel will have to carry with it an enormous amount of reaction mass.

You can't -- we think, or thought -- just push energy out the backside of a spaceship and make it go voom. (Voom is a term that we who love science use.)

You have to actually impart momentum to physical mass -- a gas, for example. You spurt the gas out of the back of the spaceship. The gas is going backwards quickly, which makes the spaceship go forwards.

Without actually ejecting mass in the opposite direction you want the spaceship to go, we think -- or thought (those of us who think about science because, oh right, we love it) -- you have no propulsion at all.

So this means that the various spaceships you see in movies are all wrong. (All wrong is a scientific term.) A real spaceship should have tremendously large tanks of reaction mass, which it uses in flight to propel it. The proportion of "tank" to actual ship should be enormous -- the actual ship part of the ship would be tiny.

Basically a real spaceship would be an enormous series of gigantic tanks, with a tiny little cockpit/living space somewhere on it like a pimple. (Pimples are small oil-filled sacs in the epidermis -- That's science!)

Not only does this look goofy, thus destroying our dreams of sleek spaceships, but it imposes considerable, considerable engineering challenges on spaceship design, as the ship would be something like 90% reaction mass.

You'd have to carry around that much mass-- and when you tried to propel yourself, you'd have to accelerate that much mass, and of course all that mass doesn't wish to be propelled and will resist you. (We call that resistance-of-mass-to-acceleration "inertia" -- now there's some deep Science for ya.)

All told, it would be so, so much easier if we were disburdened of this very inconvenient law that only a mass being ejected from the rear of the ship could propel the ship forward.

This is why science fiction often postulates "reactionless drives." The term describes a hypothetical, fanciful drive system which does not require mass to be ejected from the ship, but instead just pumps out energy.

Or something. Writers are rarely detailed about it because it's just silly.

This is -- or was -- widely believed to be simply impossible and a very silly, if nonetheless pleasing, background conceit of science fiction.

Or science fantasy, really, when you take into account a reactionless drive is physically (or should I say physics-ally) impossible. (Did you see that? That was a science joke.)

But is it impossible?

Short answer: Yes, it's impossible.

Long answer: But maybe not.

Nasa is a major player in space science, so when a team from the agency this week presents evidence that "impossible" microwave thrusters seem to work, something strange is definitely going on. Either the results are completely wrong, or Nasa has confirmed a major breakthrough in space propulsion.

British scientist Roger Shawyer has been trying to interest people in his EmDrive for some years through his company SPR Ltd. Shawyer claims the EmDrive converts electric power into thrust, without the need for any propellant by bouncing microwaves around in a closed container. He has built a number of demonstration systems, but critics reject his relativity-based theory and insist that, according to the law of conservation of momentum, it cannot work.


[A] US scientist, Guido Fetta, has built his own propellant-less microwave thruster, and managed to persuade Nasa to test it out. The test results were presented on July 30 at the 50th Joint Propulsion Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Astonishingly enough, they are positive.

Now I gotta tell you: Frankly, I think this is all an error, and it will soon be disproven. I think there's some artifact going on here, something no one is checking.

I think it is true, and will remain true, that you have to shoot propellant out your rear to go forward.

But this does have one nice effect:

You can now read science fiction stories postulating reactionless drives and consider them plausible, rather than fantasy.

For now.

Until they disprove it all.

Thanks to various members of the blog's I Love Science/I am a Nerd team, @conarticritic, @rdbrewer4, and @comradearthur.

Posted by Ace at 05:34 PM Comments

Obama: "We tortured some folks"


"Some folks."

This has long been Obama's position, and a position of the left generally -- that the three terrorist commanders (aka "some folks") we waterboarded were unjustly and cruelly "tortured."

It's not entirely surprising, then, that he should say this, but the offhanded flippancy of it does surprise.

Also surprising, though it should not be: The left likes to claim that they see the "nuances" and "context" of actions, whereas the right "simplifies" the facts into an easily-understood "morality play."

Nitwit British alleged comedian Russell Brand just criticized Sean Hannity for calling Hamas "terrorists." Brand argued that this is "simplistic" as it fails to take into account "the context."

The context he offers is this: Hamas is weaker, militarily, and is thus forced to do things which "we might perceive" as terrorist actions.

In other words, any group in a fight with a stronger group has the right to kidnap and murder hitchhiking teenagers, because, you know. You can do anything if you're judged to be the "weaker" party.

I wonder if, when those teenagers were being murdered by Hamas thugs, they felt as if they were the "dominant, hegemonic" power-players in that situation.

But to return to Obama: While the left claims it speaks in "nuances" and with all relevant "context" added -- that they are fact and science based (I love science) -- note how simplistically Obama puts this.

"We tortured some folks."

I don't see a lot of context there. I don't see the context that one of these three men was Khalid Sheik Mohammad, Osama bin Ladin's then number two, the man who quarterbacked the 9/11 terrorist operation that slaughtered nearly 3000 people, and the man with the contact information for terrorists who would revisit that same tragedy upon us again, if permitted to.

No mention that this process, waterboarding, has no permanent or even short-lasting effects at all, or that it is used on our own troops in order to prepare them for the treatment they will receive at the hands of enemy captors.

But no -- in Obama's formulation, "We tortured some folks."

"Context." "Nuance."

Listening to Brand and Obama, I had a realization.

People on the right often claim that people on the left are guilty of something called "moral relativism." Which, I believe, is defined as excusing/minimizing acts of cruelty, murder, and violence by looking at the "context" of those acts, and the "desperation" of the monsters perpetrating those acts, and judging that, in the scheme of things, they are either justified, or at least their culpability is mitigated -- "They had little choice." "These were the only weapons available to them."

But that's not quite right, I realized.

The left does indeed engage in moral relativism-- selectively.

For the enemies of America or Israel, or for the enemy of civilized, orderly society (say, the common street-murderer), the left does indeed engage in this analysis of moral relativism.

But what about for America itself, or Israel, or the family murdered by a "desperate" and poor lifelong criminal?

Does the left ever engage in the same moral relativistic thinking and say, of America, Israel, or a community outraged by murder, "Well, these people were scared. They felt as if they had no choice. Their anger can be excused and understood, and justified to some extent, because of the grievances they felt they had against their enemies."

No-- they do not. This moral relativism, the excusing and justifying of evil acts, is a one-way street only, only serving to apologize for people who kill Americans (or Westerners; the Israelis in this case are taken to be White Westerners).

This same "let's look at their grievances and how they felt justified" excuse is never, ever applied to America, Israel, or law-abiding folks outraged that a serious crime has occurred in their community.

In those cases, an absolutely sacrosanct and invariable ethic is applied -- and America, Israel, and law-abiding folks are found guilty of having violated it.

Obama, if he wishes to think himself "complex" and "cosmopolitan," may offer apologias for wicked acts committed by the enemies of America (or her allies) all he likes.

There is nothing, I don't think, inherently wrong about such thinking. (I believe here that many will sharply disagree with me.)

But how about extending the same "let's look at their grievances and feelings of outrage and powerlessness" excuses to our own country and own allies and own citizens once in a while too, huh?

They're not engaging in moral relativistic thinking, not really.

All they're doing is establishing a very friendly, very loose code of behavior for America's enemies, and a vindictively inviolable one to America itself.

Posted by Ace at 03:46 PM Comments

AoSHQ Podcast: Guest, Sean Davis


Sean Davis reverse-Meatballs over from The Federalist to join Ace and Drew on today's episode where they talk science and some other stuff. But mainly science. Because they f'n LOVE science.

Intro/Outro: She Blinded Me With Science-Thomas Dolby/Summer In The City-Lovin' Spoonful

Related links:

Listen: Stitcher | MP3 Download
Subscribe: rss.pngRSS | itunes_modern.pngiTunes

Browse (and even search!) the archives

Follow on Twitter

Don't forget to submit your Ask the Blog questions for next week's episode.

Open thread in the comments

Posted by Andy at 02:43 PM Comments

Hamas Kills 2 Israeli Soldiers, Captures a Third, Just Ninety Minutes into the Ceasefire They Demanded


Ninety minutes.

They honored their ceasefire commitments for little bit more than three episodes of Friends.

The United Nations released a statement cautioning that they are not in a position to confirm either side’s claims. The statement was clear though that, if Israel's allegations were confirmed, "this would constitute a serious violation of the ceasefire in place since 8 a.m. this morning by Gazan militant factions which should be condemned in the strongest terms." White House Press Sec. Josh Earnest, issuing similar caveats about the need to independently confirm Israel's allegation, called Hama’s violation of the terms of this ceasefire "barbaric."

White House press secretary Josh Earnest gave a kinda strong statement on the matter.

Hamas will claim that this didn't happen, of course, but I assume those two fresh Israeli corpses didn't shoot themselves.

At Legal Insurrection: Diplomacy.

Hamas' Defense: Commenters say that Hamas is offering two different defenses -- first, that the Israelis started it.

This seems impossible, based on the facts. This was a sneak attack -- that's how they captured the one soldier. Israel can't have started an attack they were obviously surprised by.

The other claim is that this took place prior to the ceasefire. They claim at 7am. The ceasefire began at 8am.

Posted by Ace at 01:52 PM Comments

Book Reveals Stuff About Joe Biden You Didn't Want to Know and Will Be Angry At Me For Telling You


Allegedly, our weird vice president prefers skinny dipping when he swims.

And the female secret service agents protecting him don't like that. They don't like that one bit.

"Agents say that, whether at the vice president’s residence or at his home in Delaware, Biden has a habit of swimming in his pool nude," Kessler writes.

"Female Secret Service agents find that offensive."

I find it offensive even hearing about it third-hand.

A more serious claim is this: Biden doesn't want his Secret Service escort interfering with his neighbors' driving at his home town. Which is a nice enough thought.

But his work-around for this is to insist (the book claims) on having his SS detail drive quite a long ways behind his car. (How this avoids traffic snarls is anyone's guess.)

The book says the Secret Service is very worried by this insistence, as they're not close enough to actually defend him from an attack. And he carries the nuclear football sometimes. (The article implies.)

Posted by Ace at 12:51 PM Comments

House Readies Another Border Control Bill, This One Limiting DACA (The Executive Law Granting Amnesty to Young Illegals)


The Senate's already gone home for their five week vacation, or, as they call it in the government, their "Service."

The House, however, is preparing some kind of new bill. The last bill consisted of two bills, actually -- the first, which Boehner wanted, and the second, that conservatives wanted, stopping the DACA Amnesty (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a law passed by the executive alone, unconstitutionally).

Boehner and other Establishment types don't like this second bill. They sort of want to say to their constituents that they're against Obama's Executive Law, without taking any actual action against that Executive Law. Too "mean" or something, you see.

So the new bill will fold that one into the main bill. As a compromise in the caucus, and to not be "mean," it won't undo the illegal Executive Law completely, but will state that DACA cannot apply to illegals arriving January 1st 2014 or later.

That, I think, is the plan.

Correction: I must have misunderstood Allah's post. DrewM. says:

I'm not sure there is a correct answer at the moment but last I heard DACA isn't in the House border bill. It'll be a stand alone vote.

From Susan Ferrechio, a Washington Examiner reporter:

A Fox news reporter agrees:

Apologies for the error.

Posted by Ace at 11:37 AM Comments

Morning Chitchat 08-01-14


Good morning you darling Morons, and Happy Friday!

An ebola patient is being brought to the United States.

All will be well, of course.

Hey, it's not like we can't trust people to diligently account for dangerous pathogens and not leave stuff lying around.

Aaaaand *clicks stopwatch* shortest ceasefire ever.

Except for the last one.

Thanks to slone and chris_1791 on twitter.

Go out there and have a great day.

Posted by LauraW. at 07:49 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (7-31-2014)


Children Pose With Their Most Prized Possessions

Kids-with-their-favorite-toys-by-Gabriele-Galimberti-11-634x634  Kids-with-their-favorite-toys-by-Gabriele-Galimberti-35-634x634
Kids-with-their-favorite-toys-by-Gabriele-Galimberti-06-634x634 Kids-with-their-favorite-toys-by-Gabriele-Galimberti-13-634x634
Kids-with-their-favorite-toys-by-Gabriele-Galimberti-07-634x634 Kids-with-their-favorite-toys-by-Gabriele-Galimberti-13-634x634
Kids-with-their-favorite-toys-by-Gabriele-Galimberti-36-634x634 Kids-with-their-favorite-toys-by-Gabriele-Galimberti-18-634x634

Charles C. Cooke: Smarter Than Thou

Ace mentioned this article a day or two ago but the entire thing is worth reading since it encapsulates so much that is wrong with the left's worship of 'science'. And justifies my dislike of Neil deGrasse Tyson for his arrogant smugness.

"Ignorance," a popular Tyson meme holds, "is a virus. Once it starts spreading, it can only be cured by reason. For the sake of humanity, we must be that cure." This rather unspecific message is a call to arms, aimed at those who believe wholeheartedly they are included in the elect "we." Thus do we see unexceptional liberal-arts students lecturing other people about things they don't understand themselves and terming the dissenters "flat-earthers." Thus do we see people who have never in their lives read a single academic paper clinging to the mantle of "science" as might Albert Einstein. Thus do we see residents of Brooklyn who are unable to tell you at what temperature water boils rolling their eyes at Bjørn Lomborg or Roger Pielke Jr. because he disagrees with Harry Reid on climate change. Really, the only thing in these people's lives that is peer-reviewed are their opinions. Don't have a Reddit account? Believe in God? Skeptical about the threat of overpopulation? Who are you, Sarah Palin?

...Ironically enough, what Tyson and his acolytes have ended up doing is blurring the lines between politics, scholarship, and culture - thereby damaging all three. Tyson himself has expressed bemusement that "entertainment reporters" have been so interested in him. "What does it mean," he asked, "that Seth MacFarlane, who's best known for his fart jokes - what does it mean that he's executive producing" Cosmos? Well, what it means is that, professionally, Tyson has hit the jackpot. Actual science is slow, unsexy, and assiduously neutral - and it carries about it almost nothing that would interest either the hipsters of Ann Arbor or the Kardashian-soaked titillaters over at E!

Politics pretending to be science, on the other hand, is current, and it is chic.


Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 10:14 PM Comments

No, Stop, It's Too Cute. Stop It Right Now.


A dog had been separated from its owner for two full years.

The owner was away in Slovenia, but returned home to Pennsylvania, whereupon she saw her pooch.

Here's the little guy's reaction at the reunion.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 08:25 PM Comments

72 Hour Ceasefire Declared in Hamas-Israel Fight


Beginning at 8 pm am on Friday.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations announced early Friday that Israel and Hamas had agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire in the Gaza conflict.

Israel will keep its troops in place on the ground during the ceasefire -- the article does not say if they will continue their tunnel-busting missions during the ceasefire.

The parties will gather in Cairo to discuss a longer-lasting ceasefire.

Posted by Ace at 07:53 PM Comments

Leftwing "Wonks" Shocked Again to Learn Basic Things


I would propose a simple definition of "expert:" One who is not surprised or even stunned to learn the basics of his claimed field of expertise.

By this definition, the left has a serious lack of experts.

I might add to the definition of "expert:" One who is interested in a subject matter and motivated to learn as much about it as possible, even if such fresh learning might cut against his base partisan impulses.

I'm afraid the left is studded with "experts" who fail this prong of the definition, as well:

See Sean Davis' piece for leftist "wonks" claiming that the argument in Halbig couldn't possibly be accurate, or else it would prove them (those who supposedly follow this subject in all its details) to be "idiots."

And of course -- we know that couldn't possibly be true.

Don't we?

Oh: The below video recapitulates Jon Gruber's meanderings.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 06:22 PM Comments

The Only Appropriate Reaction to the Wisconsin Supreme Court's Decision on Act 10


The voter ID decision is also a biggie, but here is the orgasm-inducing quote from the Milkwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

In upholding Gov. Scott Walker's union law limiting collective bargaining for most public employees, the state Supreme Court effectively ended major litigation over the measure.

It's over.
We won, they lost.

Considering the string of defeats Republicans have dealt to themselves and their base, the long slow slide towards bigger government, and the utter failure of any Republican to actually roll back the progressive agenda anywhere, that a Governor and Legislature did so, in a place like Wisconsin, is huge.

This should also put pressure on Republican legislatures and governors to do more. What is their excuse, when this was pulled off successfully?

Kudos to the conservatives who (at least for the moment) govern the Badger State, and to the voters who put them in there and rejected a recall. To the latter group though, a reminder that November is coming. Please don't screw it up.

Posted by CAC at 05:40 PM Comments

Belgian Doctor Refuses Treatment to Jewish Patient



She had an injured rib. She tried to get a house-call (which is apparently how it's still done in Belgium).

The woman, Bertha Klein, had her son, who is American, call the hotline at 11 p.m.

"I'm not coming," the doctor reportedly told the son and hung up. When the son called again, the doctor said: “Send her to Gaza for a few hours, then she'll get rid of the pain." According to Joods Actueel, the doctor confirmed the exchange, saying he had an "emotional reaction."

The call is confirmed. Apparently they then called the doctor back to get his explanation for saying this, and that call was recorded.

Israel's enemies have a not-so-secret weapon against Israel: They hold hostage the world's Jewry. And when they get angry about Israel defending itself (or merely existing), they will burn down the shops of Jewish storekeepers and kill Jews on the Metro.

Brendan O'Neill recently wrote about the rising tide of real anti-semitism. Not merely being anti-Israel; I don't believe being anti-Israel makes one, necessarily, anti-semitic.

However... seems pretty clear to me that much of the left in Europe and America is becoming more anti-Semitic, or at least risks falling into the trap of anti-Semitism, sometimes quite thoughtlessly. In the language it uses, in the ideas it promotes, in the way in which it talks about the modern world, including Israel, much of the Left has adopted a style of politics that has anti-Semitic undertones, and sometimes overtones.

The key problem has been the Left’s embrace of conspiratorial thinking, its growing conviction that the world is governed by what it views as uncaring "cabals", "networks", self-serving lobbyists and gangs of bankers, all of which has tempted it to sometimes turn its attentions towards those people who historically were so often the object and the target of conspiratorial thinking -- the Jews.


This is a recurring theme in anti-Israel sentiment today: the idea that a powerful, sinister lobby of Israel lovers has warped our otherwise respectable leaders here in the West, basically winning control of Western foreign policy.


Indeed, some of the most influential trends in Left-wing politics over the past five years – including the Occupy movement and the Wikileaks movement -- were both given to conspiracy-theorising and both also had a bit of a problem with anti-Semitism. So Occupy was kickstarted by Adbusters, a magazine convinced that powerful corporations control the masses’ fickle minds. In 2004, Adbusters published a disgustingly anti-Semitic article titled "Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?", which listed the neocons in the Bush administration and put a black mark next to the names of those who are Jewish.

It's worth reading in full.

Posted by Ace at 04:30 PM Comments

Bill Clinton, September 10, 2001: You Know, I Could Have Killed Bin Ladin Years Ago, But I Chose Not To, Fearing Civilian Casualties


Within ten (10!) hours of his making this admission, Al Qaeda would demonstrate that it was not particularly bothered by civilian casualties, and in fact was rather keen on them.

The tape has only now been disclose by the Australian media -- Clinton was over there giving a paid ($150,000) speech to businessmen, naturally.

Why was this embargoed for so long?

On September 10, 2001, Clinton was speaking to a group of about 30 businessmen in Melbourne, including Michael Kroger, the former head of the Liberal Party in the Australian state of Victoria. The event was recorded with the former president’s permission, according to Kroger, but the audio never released -- until Wednesday night, when Kroger appeared on Sky News with host Paul Murray to unveil it. Kroger said he had forgotten about the recording until last week.

At the event in Melbourne, which took place not long after the end of Clinton’s term in office, the former president was asked about international terrorism.

"And I'm just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden -- he's very smart guy, I've spent a lot of time thinking about him -- and I nearly got him once," Clinton is heard saying. "I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him. And so I didn’t do it."

Remember that Clinton claimed that the "Path to 9/11" was substantially false and pressured the network to alter that docu-drama?

Here is Clinton claiming, to Chris Wallace, that he "tried" to get bin Ladin, unlike "all those right-wingers." He's angry throughout the interview, but at 5:17 or so he starts with the "I tried" crap.

He does not ever mention that on the eve of the 9/11 attacks, he bragged that he "could have" gotten bin Ladin, but specifically chose not to. (And he bragged about that, too.)

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 03:26 PM Comments

House Kills Fake Border Security Bill


The Democrats were united against it, because they're against anything that even pretends to discourage illegal immigration.

Conservatives balked at voting for a pretend measure that just might be a "supertrap" for having a conference committee which then votes out a Comprehensive Amnesty bill.

So the bill is now pulled for lack of support.

And now what?

I actually don't know. If no bill has any potential of being passed, and we can't trust Boehner and McConnell not to stuff a conference committee with Gang of 8 Amnestias, then what do we do?

Then we're at a point of complete paralysis.

Posted by Ace at 02:17 PM Comments

A US Attorney Just Threatened to Open an Investigation Into Democrat New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's Role in Witness Tampering in a Political Corruption Investigation, and the Media Says "MOAR SCOTT WALKER"


Via Jim Geraghty, a large new development in the Moreland Commission case.

Andrew Cuomo set up the Moreland Commission to investigate political corruption in New York State. At some point -- let's just speculate "at the point when major Democratic politicians were threatened" -- he ordered the commission shut down.

A US Attorney is now investigating why it was shut down -- and pursuing the investigations the commission itself abandoned.

The New York Times (which is actually covering this matter) reports on a "sharply worded" letter to Governor Cuomo from the US Attorney leading the investigation.

In an escalation of the confrontation between the United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo over the governor's cancellation of his own anticorruption commission, Mr. Bharara has threatened to investigate the Cuomo administration for possible obstruction of justice or witness tampering.

The warning, in a sharply worded letter from Mr. Bharara's office, came after several members of the panel issued public statements defending the governor's handling of the panel, known as the Moreland Commission, which Mr. Cuomo created last year with promises of cleaning up corruption in state politics but shut down abruptly in March.

The New York Times, to its credit, is covering this story.

The rest of the national media is not.

Why not, I wonder?

This is a genuine corruption investigation of a sitting governor and a much-talked-about possible Democratic candidate for President.

What is the missing "X Factor" here that makes this story so unsexy for the national media? What "X Factor" did the fake investigation of Scott Walker have that made it so appealing? What "X Factor" did Christie's Bridge Controversy have that makes it more important than the shuttering of a commission investigating widespread political corruption?

There is no plausible answer here except the obvious one.

Posted by Ace at 01:38 PM Comments

Evan Sayet: "The Modern Liberal is the Stupidest Human Being Who Has Ever Lived"


"Mind workers."

"I have a problem," Sayet says in the video, "If the modern liberal is as stupid as I believe him to be, how does he keep rising to the tops of his professions?"

Good question, and Sayet provides some rather insightful, albeit hilarious, reasons why the "modern liberal" has been incredibly successful at being so stupid by employing brilliant alliteration on the word "do." In essence, modern liberals succeed because they flock to professions that require they do nothing, according to Sayet.

"They don't build, they don't make, they don't construct, they don't manufacture, they don't prepare, they don't sow, they don't mend," Sayet says. "Every single profession that we associate with liberalism is all talk, but no action, and the thing is when you don't 'do anything', you don't know what you're talking about."

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 01:04 PM Comments

Top Headline Comments 7-31-14

—Gabriel Malor

Happy Thursday.

"We never tried to impeach Bush," says Democratic lawmaker who cosponsored articles of impeachment against Bush.

WaPo has an interesting piece on happy and unhappy cities.

The ATF agents responsible for the insane reverse-sting operation in Milwaukee get slaps on the wrists.

Lawyer-morons, the Popehat Signal is out for a fellow in Colorado being sued by his former ISP for putting up bad reviews on Yelp, among other things.

NYTimes has an A1 piece on the American suicide bomber in Syria.

AoSHQ Weekly Podcast rss.png itunes_modern.png | Stitcher | Download | Ask The Blog | Archives

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:50 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (7-30-2014)


John Kerry: Cargo Cult Politician

And it struck me also that this might be the sum total of why he has risen to the heights he has, that and his ability to promote himself. He has never seemed especially bright or accomplished, and certainly never especially likeable. But he always looked like a senator, and so instead of playing one on TV he became one.

Politics isn't the only thing Kerry ever did; he was a prosecutor for a while. But it's the main thing he's done, and although it's hard to point to any specific accomplishments of his even in politics, he still managed to almost become president. I maintain that it's because he's the perfect cargo cult senator, presidential nominee, and now Secretary of State. He looks a certain way, and sounds a certain way, and our society has devolved to the point where looking like something is considered good enough. Why should skills be necessary, as well? The simulacrum of the thing is enough.

I think my first ever impression of John Kerry came from a 1986 PJ O'Rourke article ("Goons, Guns, and Gold") in Rolling Stone on his experiences during the Philippines election in which Marcos was attempting to stuff the ballot box against the far more popular Corazon Aquino. Senators Kerry and Lugar were sent there by Reagan as election observers. But when the election workers walked out over Marcos' chicanery with the vote totals and asked for his assistance, John Kerry was the waste of human skin that we've all come to expect.

Here is PJ O'Rourke's recollection of the events:

Village Voice reporter Joe Conason and I had been tipped off about the walkout, and when we got to the church, we found Bea Zobel, one of Cory Aquino's top aides, in a tizzy. "The women are terrified," she said. "They're scared to go home. They don't know what to do. We don't know what to do." Joe and I suggested that Mrs. Zobel go to the Manila Hotel and bring back some members of the Congressional observer team. She came back with Kerry, who did nothing.

Kerry later said that he didn't talk to the COMELEC employees then because he wasn't allowed to. [A bone-head Rolling Stone fact-checker sent the article to Kerry's Senate office for comment. Kerry staffers were wroth and insisted the senator's version of events be included.] This is ridiculous. He was ushered into an area that had been cordoned off from the press and the crowd and where the computer operators were sitting. To talk to the women, all he would have had to do was raise his voice. Why he was reluctant, I can't tell you. I can tell you what any red-blooded representative of the U.S. Government should have done. He should have shouted, "If you're frightened for your safety, I'll take you to the American embassy, and damn the man who tries to stop me." But all Kerry did was walk around like a male model in a concerned and thoughtful pose.

And there you have probably the only comparison of Kerry to a male model ever made.

O'Rourke noted in 2004 that he's "had a nonpartisan grudge against John Kerry for 18 years" over this incident. And ever since I read O'Rourke's account I have as well. John Kerry had a chance to actually do something meaningful as a US Senator and instead he chose to uselessly walk around and preen as the well coiffed empty-suit that he is.

You can read the original article here. It's still funny even after 28 years and entertaining to read now since we know what nemesis eventually had in store for the feckless members of the US delegation.

JohnKerry11 johnkeyyer3452555010-1024x745

Another Contender for Dumbest Member of Congress

I hate to say it but the ladies of Congress seem to have more than their fair share of borderline retardation. Just having a uterus may get you elected in some districts but it clearly does not convey any special knowledge or mental prowess or even guarantee average faculties.

Here is Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) talking about the need for high speed rail (as well as anything else that darts through her brain) at a hearing in 2012. TRIGGER WARNING: This audio will make you dumber and Sanchez's near-ultrasonic screeches may cause feeling of alarm and anxiety about the country's future.

Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 10:16 PM Comments

Open Thread: Sharknado 2: The Second One


So, this eagerly non-anticipated film debuts at 9pm on ScyFy.

Posted by Ace at 08:33 PM Comments

Boy, The Democrats Really Are Running Hard on Impeachment, Huh?


They mean Boehner's lawsuit against Obama's executive-action overreach.

"Impeachment Lite."

Posted by Ace at 07:45 PM Comments

Sheila Jackson Lee: We Never Tried to Impeach Bush, Because We Recognized He "Had That Authority"



So, of course, you know where this is heading. You must know what will happen if you google "Sheila Jackson Lee Bush Impeachment," right?

Sheila Jackson Lee cosponsored articles of Impeachment against President Bush.

Posted by Ace at 07:00 PM Comments

France Offers Asylum to Christians Iraqis Fleeing ISIS; Washington, DC, Silent



The French government says it is willing to grant asylum to Iraqi Christians in the face of a jihadist onslaught against them.

"We are assisting displaced persons who are fleeing the Islamic State's threats and seeking refuge in Kurdistan," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a joint statement this week. "Should they so wish, we are prepared to offer them asylum on our soil."

They're Socialists, by the way. I just say that in case anyone thinks they're part of the French Neocon Establishment or something.

In Washington, meanwhile, a leading religious freedom advocate on Capitol Hill slammed both President Obama and Congress Tuesday for their "silence" about the plight of Iraq’s Christians, which he said amounted to "genocide."

"The silence in this town -- in Washington -- is deafening," Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) said on the House floor. "Does Washington even care?"

And once again it seems like the sympathies of the progressive establishment are turned off the minute someone mentions the C-word, "Christians."

Posted by Ace at 05:38 PM Comments

Surprising No One, Five Thirty Eight Gives In to Priestly Caste's Shrieking and Fires Global Warming Skeptic


The skeptic is Roger Pielke, Jr., a professor of climate studies at the University of Colorado. As far as Credentialism, then: He has all his credentials. Certainly better credentials that the millions of "pro-science" lefties who know nothing about science, except that we must put our Faith in Science.

But even though he knew what he was talking about, he said The Wrong Things, Forbidden Things, Things Which Are Not Of The Book or the Body, and so, the "Pro-Science" contigent does what "scientists" do best, which is of course excommunicating heretics.

Charles Cooke has a piece on the general appropriation of the "Science" mantle (there we go with mantles again) for leftwing political agitprop.

In this manner has a word ["nerd"] with a formerly useful meaning been turned into a transparent humblebrag: Look at me, I’m smart. Or, more important, perhaps, Look at me and let me tell you who I am not, which is southern, politically conservative, culturally traditional, religious in some sense, patriotic, driven by principle rather than the pivot tables of Microsoft Excel, and in any way attached to the past. "Nerd" has become a calling a card -- a means of conveying membership of one group and denying affiliation with another....

Thus do we see unexceptional liberal-arts students lecturing other people about things they don’t understand themselves and terming the dissenters "flat-earthers." Thus do we see people who have never in their lives read a single academic paper clinging to the mantle of "science" as might Albert Einstein. Thus do we see residents of Brooklyn who are unable to tell you at what temperature water boils rolling their eyes at Bjørn Lomborg or Roger Pielke Jr. because he disagrees with Harry Reid on climate change. Really, the only thing in these people’s lives that is peer-reviewed are their opinions.

Posted by Ace at 04:55 PM Comments

Submitted for Your Disapproval


Somewhere a cow's ghost is saying, "I deserved better."

Hillary Clinton was shooting a fashion spread for Don't magazine.

Meanwhile, to deflect attention away from Hillary Clinton's fashion catastrophe, Ronan Farrow embarrassed himself.

More at Newsbusters, including the video.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 03:16 PM Comments

Ed Schultz: Hey, Maybe Obama Doesn't Have the Constitutional Power to Just Grant Amnesty Via His Personal Royal Decree



First Jen Rubin, now Ed Schultz?

Well, actually now that Ed Schultz says it, I guess I do see that being anti-Amnesty is racist.

It's just the way he says it. So much White/Red hate.

Posted by Ace at 02:44 PM Comments

After Ending Interview with Israeli Ambassador to the US, Mika Brzezinsky Invites Viewers To Watch the Next Segment on "Morning Jew"



I guess we know what's on her mind.

From Twitchy.

I'm sure we'll see the left go into fully frothy mode that we last saw when Bob Beckel said "Chinaman."

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 01:37 PM Comments

So Taxpayers Are Paying $202,000 To Figure Out Why Wikipedia is Sexist; Apparently This is Proven By The Brevity of Its Sex & the City Recaps



The National Science Foundation (NSF) is spending over $200,000 to find out why Wikipedia is sexist.

The government has awarded two grants for collaborative research to professors at Yale University and New York University to study what the researchers describe as "systematic gender bias" in the online encyclopedia.


An ongoing debate exists over whether the website has sexist undertones.

Zandt argues that Wikipedia is biased because the majority of its editors are "young, white, child-free men."


Noam Cohen, a columnist for the Times who does not have a Wikipedia page, has asserted the encyclopedia is biased because articles about friendship bracelets are shorter than entries about baseball cards.

"And consider the disparity between two popular series on HBO: The entry on 'Sex and the City' includes only a brief summary of every episode, sometimes two or three sentences; the one on 'The Sopranos' includes lengthy, detailed articles on each episode," he wrote.

The only true thing here is that Wikipedia does have a cultural bias. The bias is towards the cultural phenomenon that Wikipedia's editors are interested in. Some cultural phenomena -- science fiction, comic books -- get a fairly exhaustive treatment, and others get brief blurbs.*

I have trouble imagining this as "sexist," though, even doing my level-best to see the other side. Wikipedia is a volunteer site, and the people who volunteer will, necessarily, tend to bring their own interests and areas of expertise to the site. If (and I'll just assume this is true for purposes of this post) Wikipedia's volunteers tend to be younger men hooked into sci-fi/manga culture and interested in stuff young men are interested in (they have a pretty good article on The Longbow, for example), the site is going to reflect that.

The site is not sexist. Period. But the site inherently appeals to cultural ideas favored by (young) men of a nerdish bent. The very fact that a site exists which gives an exhaustive, 4000 word plus citations treatment of Ant-Man is going to skew male.

I love Wikipedia. There is something about it that appeals to me on a primal level. I feel like... I don't know, that I'm hunting on the great plains of data or something.

Men (well, those of a nerdly bent) tend to be interested in trivia and obscura; women tend to not be, or at least not so much.**

If you want to annoy a date, just keep quoting Midnight Run to her. A male friend might like your calling yourself "Jack Walsh, I mean, John Wesley Walsh" when you put in for a table at a restaurant. A female date will be much less taken with your wit.

I don't care about Ant-Man, but for some reason I find comfort in knowing that someone out there does care about Ant-Man, and has digested Ant-Man's fifty year history for me, should my life ever depend on knowing when Ant-Man married Janet Van Dyne.

If women aren't volunteering in large numbers -- I don't know what on earth a feminist agitator suggests we could do about that. Pay female volunteers (but not male ones) to increase interest?

And the most important thing here is that this is only one small part of Wikipedia. The rest of Wikipedia is about less silly things. It's not as if most of Wikipedia is about Ant-Man, for crying out loud. The rest of it is about history and quarks and evolutionary biology and just about everything else.

So the real complaint boils down to: the ten percent of a website which could reflect the cultural preferences of its unpaid volunteers does in fact reflect the cultural preferences of its unpaid volunteers, and yes, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine does get a more exhaustive, nerdishly-loving treatment than Sex & the City.

The federal government needs to pay people to study this and propose "solutions"?

Thanks to @comradearthur and @lizwfb.

* This bias isn't mostly male, though. It's mostly nerdish (which does tend to skew male).

I myself have looked up various cultural artifacts which have not been embraced by the nerdly community, and have found the articles on those to be thin and not nearly satisfying as that for Ant-Man.

I hardly imagined I was the victim of a Bias Crime owing to this, though.

** It also occurs to me that we've spent $202,000 for a "study" which deliberately avoids examining a very simple explanation:

Women just aren't as interested in this type of crap as men.

You don't have to believe that to at least agree: This should have been one of the explanations scientifically studied, if we're going to have a scientific study at all.

Let's get down to brass tacks: I've seen Die Hard 50 times and I would watch it right now if it were on.

I will watch Die Hard only to see the Asian guy steal the candy bar.

And when I click on Wikipedia, I'm expecting them to tell me if the Asian guy stealing the candy bar was in the script, or if it was improvised on the day of the shoot.

And when Wikipedia doesn't tell me this (it doesn't, I've checked), I'm disappointed in it.

Do women watch episodes of Sex & the City 50 times? No, they don't. Maybe the "best" episodes, they'll watch two or three times. Women do watch some things a bunch of times (Law & Order repeats, for example), but this phenomenon is much more a male trait than a female one.

So why isn't this obvious truism even part of this "study"?

Because the academy doesn't exist to do science or scholarship; it exists to collect grants from politicized arms of the government for the purpose of agitation of coalitions of voters in support of the politicized arms of the government.

The difference between a scholar or scientist and priest is that the scholar or scientist, supposedly, will question any and everything, whereas the priest will only ask those questions permitted by his Holy Book, and only seeks to elicit answers which support the dogmas of his Holy Book.

Seems to me we have a lot of Priests posing as scholars.

Posted by Ace at 01:01 PM Comments

Oh Dear God In Heaven. I Agree With....I Can't Event Type It


I'm not sure what sign of the Apocalypse this is but you're going to want to get right with your God ASAP.

If you had asked me ten minutes ago what I thought Jennifer Rubin would suggest the GOP do after Obama's upcoming executive amnesty I'd have bet all my money it would be something like, "GOP candidates must promise to extend this policy or else they will lose forever". I'd have gone broke-broke (not Hillary "dead broke")

For starters, they and the GOP candidates for 2016 should make clear that any executive order will disappear at the end of Obama’s term and any who step forward for exemptions now may be subject to deportation in 2 1 /2 years. Harsh? No; it’s a sensible deterrent to prevent widespread lawlessness. (The Democratic presidential nominee should be challenged on his or her own plans to rule by executive edict. Let Hillary Clinton try to win an electoral majority on a platform of executive imperialism.)

And then she suggests how the GOP can get really tough.

I'm going to say this and enjoy the whole thing.

Was her blog hacked?

If Rubin is on board with this approach maybe the rest of the squish brigade will be too.

I gotta go lay down, the world doesn't make sense any more.

Posted by DrewM. at 12:22 PM Comments

Open Thread


A crumb of content (probably more about it later)....Lois Lerner doesn't think much of you.

"Not a smidgen" of corruption.

By the way, it appears the person Lerner is emailing with is also a Treasury employee. Look at the originating email of the tread and scroll to the last page where the first email is. It comes with a Treasury Department non-disclosure statement.

So who's the other person and what's their job?

Update: Maybe not. The original email was a forward that the redacted person couldn't read. Maybe that person isn't a government employee after all.

Posted by DrewM. at 12:01 PM Comments

Rand Paul: Hey Maybe The Government Shouldn't Be Able To Take Your Stuff Without Any Due Process


"Civil Asset Forfeiture" is a cancer in America. Cops and prosecutors across the country are empowered to take your money and property if they think it's been used as part of a crime. You'll have to prove your innocence before you can have your belongings back, and that isn't always enough. Oh and if the state taking all your money means you can't afford a lawyer? Too bad.

How did this cancer spread so far? We made it profitable for the government to rip off citizens. But it's ok because it was "for the children".

Though civil-asset forfeiture has a long history, it took off in America following passage of some amendments to the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Prevention Act in 1984 that allowed police to keep and spend forfeiture proceeds. This gave law-enforcement agencies a direct financial incentive to take more stuff, and led to what the Institute for Justice (IJ), a libertarian law firm, calls "policing for profit". In 1986 the federal Asset Forfeiture Fund took in $93.7m; by September 2013 the Fund held more than $2 billion in net assets. Some of those funds are disbursed to local law-enforcement agencies. As Sarah Stillman noted in her outstanding article on forfeiture abuses, many police departments depend on forfeiture funds to fill budget gaps, which further increases the incentive to snatch (for some, this is a feature, not a bug). Agencies can spend funds with relatively little oversight on activities only tenuously related to law-enforcement: in Atlanta's Fulton County, for instance, the district attorney's office is alleged to have spent forfeiture funds on a Christmas party, flowers, a security system for the district attorney's home and assorted yummies including "mini crab cakes in a champagne sauce" (Paul Howard, the district attorney, insists such expenditures have reduced turnover and improved morale).

You'd think there'd be an outcry against this sort of extortion but there hasn't been. It doesn't happen to most people (until it does) and no politician wants to get labeled as being soft on crime or anti-police.

Well someone has finally decided to try and end this abuse. Rand Paul has taken up the cause and try and put the government back in its box. Don't think of it as anti-police, think of it as pro-freedom and limited government.

The bill would also require states “to abide by state law when forfeiting seized property.” This is important. Currently, a number of state legislatures across the country have passed reform bills to rein in forfeiture abuses. The problem is that the federal government has a program known as “adoption” or “equitable sharing.” Under the program, a local police agency need only call up the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or similar federal agency. That agency then “federalizes” the investigation, making it subject to federal law. The federal agency then initiates forfeiture proceedings under the laxer federal guidelines for forfeiture. The feds take a cut and then return the rest — as much as 80 percent — back to the local agency. This trick thwarts the intent of state legislature that have attempted to make civil forfeiture more fair when it comes to burden of proof, protections for innocent property owners and eliminating the perverse incentive of allowing forfeiture proceeds to go to the same police agency that made the seizure.

Which brings us to a final important provision in the bill: It would “would remove the profit incentive for forfeiture by redirecting forfeitures assets from the Attorney General’s Asset Forfeiture Fund to the Treasury’s General Fund.” Read the full text of the bill here.

I've sworn off voting for Paul a number of times (Remember his pal the "Southern Avenger" and his goofy theories on Iraq and Dick Cheney?) but he keeps doing stuff I like and tempts me to get back on board.

Republicans keep telling me there are no perfect candidates and you have to hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils. I accept that but Republicans need to accept that for some of us that means Rand Paul is the lesser of the evils. At least with Rand Paul's crap I actually get stuff I like. With supporters of a muscular and far reaching federal government like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, I just get the crap.

Posted by DrewM. at 09:22 AM Comments

Top Headline Comments 7-30-14

—Gabriel Malor

Happy Wednesday.

Greg Sargent's piece on the ACA's missing federal subsidies yesterday gave me such lulz. In case you missed it, here's Jeff B.'s take. And here's Patterico's. Here's my summation in 140 characters.

But, honestly, I think Sargent might just be learning disabled or something. Because, c'mon:

Being able to write the bar exam on a computer instead of writing all those essays by hand is nice, except when it is so not nice.

President Obama gives big speeches on nuclear nonproliferation, also cuts the nonproliferation budget by $399 million in FY2015. Left hand doesn't know what the far left hand is doing.

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Posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:49 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (7-29-2014)


Quote of the Day

We had turned the corner at U Street and were marching up 14th Street when the woman with the megaphone leading SlutWalk DC started a new chant: 'We love consensual sex! We love consensual sex!' Well, OK, but who doesn't? Is there any actual opposition to this agenda? Is there an Anti-Consensual Sex Movement that someone forgot to tell us about?

-- Robert Stacy McCain in "Slutwalk Insanity"

Sucking in the 70s

Yes kids, prior to Star Wars, these were the films we were forced to watch to document our hardscrabble existence during the horrific Nixonfordcarter years when America went to hell in a polyester hand-basket: lots of crime, lots of grime, lots of graffiti, lots of bell-bottoms - and at least until the very end of the decade, no Internet, no cable TV, or video games: Kathy Shaidle brings you the "10 Movies Millennials Must See to Understand the 1970s - The era of devils, divorces and disasters, captured on film."

Also How Graffiti Vanished From NYC Subways

For decades, authorities treated subway graffiti like it was a sanitation issue.  Gunn believed that graffiti was a symptom of larger systemic problems. After all, trains were derailing nearly every two weeks. In 1981 there were 1,800 subway car fires-that's nearly five a day, every day of the year!

When Gunn launched his "Clean Trains" program [in 1984], it was not only about cleaning up the trains aesthetically, but making them function well, too. Clean trains, Gunn believed, would be a symbol of a rehabilitated transit system.

Systemically, train line by train line, Gunn took the subways off the map for graffiti writers. While they were fixing it, they didn't allow any graffiti on it. If graffiti artists "bombed" a train car, the MTA pulled it from the system. Even during rush hour.

May 12, 1989 was declared the official day of the city's victory over train graffiti.


Is This Correct - 35% of All Americans With a Credit History Are In Collections?

According to a new study by the Urban Institute, 35% of U.S. adults with a credit history (91% of the adult population of the U.S.) have debt "in collections" - a status generally not acquired until payments are at least 180 days past due. Debt problems seem to be worse in the South, with states hovering in the 40%+ range, while the Northeast has it better, at less than 30%. The study's authors claim their findings actually underrepresent low-income consumers, because "adults without a credit file are more likely to be financially disadvantaged."

Oddly, only 5% of adults have debt 30-180 days past due. This latter fact is partially accounted for by the fact that a broader range of debt can enter "in collections" status than "past due" status (e.g. parking tickets).

Are people really this behind on payments or is this just a quirk of what counts as 'in collections'? But in any case the South is definitely deadbeat-ier than other areas of the country - something David Hackett Fischer noted as a regional trait in Albion's Seed.


Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 10:04 PM Comments

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This week's guest: Sean Davis

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Allahpundit: Obama: This congressional deadlock on immigration means 'I’m going to have to act alone'
"There’s no legal argument for why Obama can declare a mass moratorium on deportations but President Rand Paul can’t refuse to enforce certain tax rates.... The only restraint on President Paul would be whether he thinks his job approval rating could sustain the hit. But Obama has established the policy precedent. Two can play at this game, and will." The New York Times and MSNBC will rediscover separation of powers when that happens. [rdbrewer]

Wired: Nasa validates 'impossible' space drive
A propellant-less microwave thruster, an "EMdrive," previously thought to impossible because it violates the law of conservation of momentum. Here's the most interesting part: "[It's] producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon and therefore is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma." They're pushing off virtual particles in the vacuum of space. Amazing. Via @ComradeArthur. [rdbrewer]

Allahpundit: Paul Ryan’s buddy Luis Gutierrez on the GOP: 'It is almost as if they despise all of our children'
"This is the same guy with whom Paul Ryan’s been working on comprehensive immigration reform for years.... [T]he fate of immigration policy in America seems to revolve around this sleazy A-hole, by the consent of their own leadership — and the GOP’s. Right, Paul?" "A-hole" = "asshole." Just want to be clear on that. [rdbrewer]
It's been a rough week. Have some good news for a change: Against the odds, Meriam Ibrahim is finally safe. Jailed for the crime of marrying a Christian man in Sudan, forced to give birth while imprisoned, she, her husband, and their baby landed in the U.S. last night after a week in Rome. [krak/t]
The DREAMer and the nightmare: Illegal alien teen charged in brutal murder of USC engineering student from China. MM: "Both political parties enable the climate that leads to such horrors." [dri]
Video: Elephant squashes man [rdbrewer]

Video: Orlando Bloom throws punches at Justin Bieber
Must-see video. Via @gsainer. [rdbrewer]

Daily Mail: EXCLUSIVE: 'A lot of people die out here' and 'all this on Obama's hands': Shocking images show corpses of illegal immigrants left to die after border crossings
But death and suffering is okay as long as it might get Luis Gutiérrez and other Democrats a few more votes someday. After all, they aren't real people at the border; they're objects. And Democrats have long believed in breaking a few eggs, IYKWIM. [rdbrewer]

Charles Krauthammer: Legitimizing Hamas’s War Criminality
"Kerry did not just trample an Egyptian initiative. It was backed by the entire Arab League and specifically praised by Saudi Arabia.... The ceasefire-in-place they backed would have denied Hamas any reward for starting this war...." Any successful peace initiative had to be about Kerry. [rdbrewer]

Scott Greer: Federal Court Orders DOJ To Release Fast And Furious Information
"The decision, issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, would require the Department of Justice to turn over a 'Vaughn Index' to Judicial Watch for the documents the group requested." Also from TheDC: Pelosi Asks Reporters To Be ‘Messengers’ For Flailing House Dems. [rdbrewer]
Video: Dog passes out from overwhelming joy
Family member returns home after two years. [rdbrewer]
Mediaite: Guess How Many Times Chris Cuomo and CNN Have Mentioned His Brother’s Ethics Scandal
"Using TVEyes, a search for 'Andrew Cuomo' and 'New York Governor' across CNN’s programming going back to July 18 — when the New York Times published its first significant article about the allegations — renders zero hits." Nice work, CNN. [rdbrewer]

Ben Domenech: Compassionate Conservatism Is Still A Thing
"[C]ompassionate conservatism such as it is – a marketing gimmick which deploys altruism in defense of big government solutions – is very much alive, even if it has ditched the terminology along the way." Via @TheH2. [rdbrewer]

St. Lous Post-Dispatch: Obama says GOP should stop hating; Blunt compares it to a junior high taunt
"President Obama says Republicans should 'stop just hating all the time.' Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says the President sounded like he was in junior high." Well, he kind of is. Via @MZHemingway. [rdbrewer]

The Only Difference Between Hamas and ISIS Violent Goals Are Their Names
"Just like ISIS the stated ultimate goal of Hamas is a worldwide Muslim caliphate living under Sharia law." Also from Yid: Catholic League Pres. Blasts Obama: Do Christian And Jewish Lives Mean So Little To You?. [rdbrewer]

Sean Davis: Halbig Shows How Leftist Wonks Just Aren’t Very Good At Their Jobs
"At some point, rather than constantly assuming that they know everything there is to know about everything worth knowing, it would be nice if just a few members of the esteemed Juicebox crowd acknowledged that maybe their close-mindedness was affecting their collective ability to accurately capture and report on American politics." Via @Slublog. [rdbrewer]
Virginia student settles lawsuit over her arrest after water mistaken for beer [dri]
Scott Walker Can't Lose. Wisky Supremes uphold Collective Bargaining reforms "In it's entirety." Points out that these words "The First Amendment" the unions were using in their arguments may not mean what they think it means:"...collective bargaining remains a creation of legislative grace and not constitutional obligation. The First Amendment cannot be used as a vehicle to expand the parameters of a benefit that it does not itself protect". [krak/t]
Video: Baby elephant totally disses cat [rdbrewer]

WaPo: Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S. [rdbrewer]

Andrew Klavan, Truth Revolt: Thanks, Christian White Men!
Video. [rdbrewer]

Pundit Planet: BREAKING: In Historic Move, Obama Signs Executive Order Impeaching Himself [rdbrewer]

William Kristol: Note to the House GOP: Kill the Bill
"The policy objections to the bill seem convincing to me—among them that it seems to appropriate more money, on a pro-rated monthly basis, than the president's proposal; that it might well make it harder, not easier, to send some or all of the illegal migrants back; that it changes the asylum laws in ways that might well backfire; and that it doesn't deal in any way the core cause of the problem...." Also from TWS: Lamar Alexander in the Crosshairs. [rdbrewer]

LiveSci: Odd Cause of Gaping Siberian Holes Possibly Found
"The crater's formation probably began in a similar way to that of a sinkhole.... Pressure built up, possibly from natural gas (methane), eventually spewing out a slurry of dirt as the ground sunk away." [rdbrewer]

Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg: Desperate Democrats Can't Escape Obama
"Democrats are distancing themselves from the president across the country, even in blue states." [rdbrewer]

Jim Geraghty: New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo Is Having a Very Bad Morning
"Well, that’s the end of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s presidential ambitions: 'In an escalation of the confrontation between the United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo over the governor’s cancelation of his own anti-corruption commission, Mr. Bharara has threatened to investigate the Cuomo administration for possible obstruction of justice or witness tampering.'" [rdbrewer]

The Spectator: Now that Richard Dawkins is attacking Muslims and feminists, the atheist Left suddenly discover he’s a bigot
"But Dawkins was just as offensive when his target was Christianity...." They don't recognize the hypocrisy because of working memory overload, I suspect. That, or it's intentional, and they're evil--which I doubt. Via @MZHemingway. [rdbrewer]

Lachlan Markay: The ‘Billionaire’s Club’ Behind the Green Movement
"The 92-page report details how those individuals and organizations have disbursed tens of millions of dollars, often shielded from public scrutiny, to sway elections and public policy toward environmentalist goals. Much of the money behind the effort, the report claims, is laundered through non-profit groups prohibited from engaging in political activity." [rdbrewer]

Jonathan Turley: Muslim Mob Protests Blasphemy and Kills Seven-Year-Old Girl and Her Baby Sister in Retaliation
"The cause of the outrage was a simple picture posted on Facebook that was deemed offensive to Islam." I'm sure the outcry from moderate Muslims will be swift and devastating. I'm also sure Elvis circles the galaxy once a night in a beautiful space Cadillac. Also from Turley: Professor Claims California State University Fired Him Over His Creationists Belief. [rdbrewer]

Ross Douthat, NYT: Up From Greenwich
"WHEN Barack Obama won the White House in 2008, he did so in an unusual way for a Democrat: As the candidate of the rich. He raised more in large-dollar donations than any of his rivals and raked in more cash from Wall Street than John McCain. In November, he won the upper class’s votes: By 52 percent to 46 percent, according to exit polls, Americans making more than $200,000 cast their ballots for Obama." Via @Instanpundit. [rdbrewer]

The great orator speaks [rdbrewer]

Kirsten Powers, USA Today: Iraqi Christians' nightmare
"Thanks to ISIS persecution, Mosul is without Christians for the first time in 2,000 years." [rdbrewer]

Science 2.0: A 'Transformer Pulsar'
New type of pulsar. It shifts between radio and gamma ray emissions. As CAC says, stars squeezed down to the size of Manhattan are going to do some weird stuff. Scroll down for video. [rdbrewer]

Perseus Cluster Mystery Persists --'What We Found Could Not be Explained by Known Physics'
They found an atomic line in a spectrum that does not correspond to any known matter. One speculation is they've discovered the signature of dark matter. [rdbrewer]

WaPo: Federal review stalled after finding forensic errors by FBI lab unit spanned two decades
"U.S. officials began the inquiry after The Washington Post reported two years ago that flawed forensic evidence involving microscopic hair matches might have led to the convictions of hundreds of potentially innocent people." [rdbrewer]

Vulnerable Dems balk at Obama executive actions on immigration
"Democratic senators facing tough reelections want to put the brakes on President Obama’s plan to reform the nation’s immigration enforcement system through executive action." [rdbrewer]

Jay Caruso, Pocket Full of Liberty: The GOP Needs To Hire The Best Talent, Not The Connected Talent
"In the business world, someone causing such a public relations nightmare would be fired. In Republican circles, you’d likely find that same person just relocated to the same job in another campaign or state party." [rdbrewer]

Debra Saunders: Marijuana Prohibition Doesn't Work
"Last year, a Gallup poll found that 58 percent of respondents support legalization." [rdbrewer]

Peter Wehner: When It Comes to Israel, Liberals Can’t Handle the Truth
"The leader of Hamas says, point blank, it does not want a two-state solution. Yet scores of liberal commentators continue to make arguments like this: 'We have to get a solution. And it has to be a two-state solution. And it has to be basically encouraged, if not imposed, I think, from without.'" [rdbrewer]

Max Boot, LA Times: Obama needs to work on his foreign policy, not his golf game
"Carter initiated a defense buildup after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; Bush initiated the 'surge' after the early disasters in Iraq. It is time for Obama to read the smoke signals and launch a similar course correction." Carter and Bush cared about people and the country. The malignant narcissist does not. [rdbrewer]

Charles C.W. Cooke: Roger Pielke Jr. Out at FiveThirtyEight
Climate scientist who was unafraid to go with the data instead of raving political sentiment. And Nate Silver didn't back him up. [rdbrewer]

TMZ: Orlando Bloom Throws Punch at Justin Bieber
Bloom always did seem like a cool bloke. [rdbrewer]

Nigel Farage, The Telegraph: David Cameron’s EU benefits diatribe fools no one
"The problem with mass migration is not so much the misuse of benefits by a minority – though that is wrong – but is the impact of mass, low-waged and unskilled labour upon the wages, employment opportunities and services in this country.... Just look at the way that growth is disproportionately helping the rich, who benefit from cheap labour supply, while the low-waged see pay cuts and freezes." Sounds familiar. [rdbrewer]
A typical day in Japan.
the log switch is excellent.
ht @debbywitt [ArthurK]
Video: The official sport of the AoSHQ lifestyle. [dri]

Interview: Andrew McCarthy Builds the Case for Obama’s Impeachment
"During our interview, Andrew will discuss his latest book, Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment. Andrew tells me, 'As Madison put it, impeachment was indispensable in the minds of the framers....'" [rdbrewer]
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