July 28, 2015

Hard Choices: Hillary Clinton On Keystone

—Andy

I'm surprised she doesn't reflexively answer, "yes, I'll take two" to a question about Keystone XL ...

... but apparently the former Secretary of State has no position on a major issue that her State Department strung along for years.

Hillary Clinton made a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Tuesday, where she was asked a yes-or-no question on whether she would sign a bill in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Clinton answered the question, but did not answer the question.

...

“This is President Obama’s decision, and I am not going to second-guess him because I was in a position to set this in motion, and I don not think that would be the right thing to do. So I want to wait and see what he and Secretary Kerry decide—if it is undecided when I become president, I will answer your question,” Clinton said.

That's just the kind of leadership America is crying out for!

Posted by Andy at 02:56 PM Comments



Boy Scouts Votes To End Ban On Gay Leaders

—Gabriel Malor

This has been a long time coming. Boy Scouts has faced increasing pressure from businesses and municipalities to drop the ban.

The historic vote shifts the specter of discrimination onto local scout groups and those sponsored by religious organizations, which retain the right to set their own policies on whether they'll allow gay men to lead scouts.

Monday's vote by the group's 71-member board followed an impassioned plea in May by the Boy Scouts President Robert Gates, a former U.S. defense secretary, who told the group, "We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be." Gates, an Eagle Scout, told leaders, "The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained."

This was inevitable after the Scouts dropped the ban on gay scouts back in 2013. The idea that the organization was fine with gays until they turn 18 and then kick them to the curb was never going to fly for long. After that decision, some troops switched from Boy Scouts to different youth organizations. After this decision, the Mormons are exploring the possibility of creating their own Scouts-like organization and take them at their word: troops will bail on the Scouts over this.

The board says the decision whether to allow gay leaders will be left to individual troops, but I don't think that will be very successful. This decision blows a giant hole in the rationale Justice Rehnquist used in BSA v. Dale to allow the Scouts to exclude gays.

Rehnquist rested his decision on the notion that, although they are considered a public accommodation, Boy Scouts has a right to expressive association. Part of that expression was the belief that homosexuals should not be role models and that gays can therefore be excluded from the organization, despite public accommodation anti-discrimination laws. Forcing the Scouts to include gays, Rehnquist held, would "significantly burden" the Scouts' expression in opposition to homosexuality.

But now the national-level organization has abandoned this expression of disapproval. This leaves it to individual troops to argue when they are sued (and c'mon, of course they are going to get sued) that although the national organization Boy Scouts doesn't disapprove, Troop #734, sponsored by a church in Sometown, America, does? And Troop #734 is going to have to hire its own lawyers? How do you think that's going to go?

Regular listeners to the podcast know that I go off on public accommodation laws from time to time. I think they cover way too much. Under the English common law, which is where the notion originates, public accommodations were common carriers and inns and pubs. The reason common carriers, inns, and pubs were required to be open to any with the ability to pay is literally because it was matter of life and death. You have to let people have access to food and water, shelter, and travel. But that was it. It wasn't every business.

The modern trend to declare everything a public accommodation, including membership organizations that any idiot can see are private groups, abandons the notion that people have a right to associate with only those who they care to and also to not associate with those those they don't. Discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, and sexual orientation is abhorrent. But so is using the government to force groups or businesses to associate with individuals that they would rather not.

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:41 PM Comments



Open Thread

—rdbrewer


François Charles Cachoud, "A Village in the Moonlight; The Road at Night" (n.d.)

Posted by rdbrewer at 01:17 PM Comments

Trumpmentum!

—DrewM.

Surely there would be a backlash against Trump after his slur against John McCain's military service, cried the GOP!

Um, no.

A new poll of voters likely to take part in the New Hampshire Republican primary shows Donald Trump with the biggest lead he has yet held in the GOP race. The Monmouth University poll, released Tuesday morning, has Trump at 24 percent -- double the support of the next-highest Republican, Jeb Bush, at 12 percent.

Perhaps Trump's growing following (I wouldn't go so far as to call it "support") will lead the GOP to rethink its strategy of calling these disaffected types every name in the book and instead provide a credible alternative to channel their anger.

Or not.

Interesting take away from this *one* poll....Trump's favoribility rating isn't underwater in it and he's crushing it with younger voters.

I don't buy the idea that Trump is a serious candidate. Oh sure, he's going to campaign and do whatever it is he thinks will get votes but I can't believe when push comes to shove people will vote for him.

One advantage, and it's a big one, he has over the flavor of the month candidates last time (like Bachmann and Cain) is there's nothing that can come out about him that would make people say, "oh no, that's beyond the pale in terms of charachter or temperament".

He is who he is and every negative that would sink anyone else is simply "The Mystique of The Donald." It's all already priced in. Hell, it's part of his appeal.

I know the GOP is getting worried about this and there will be some movements to exclude him from debates (everyone will have to swear not to run 3rd party/indy) or keep him off ballots through some rules machinations.

If the GOP tries to keep the man who is at the top of the polls out a debate or off ballots, they are just asking for trouble.

Trump isn't running to raise his speaking fees or get a TV show (remember he gave one up to do this). He's in this because he's an egomaniac who has nothing better to do with his money and the name recognition he's built up over the years.

I don't see him as a "Well, if the rules say I'm out, then those are the rules" kind of guy. Anything other than a legit flame out that crushes his ego is only going to lead to him lashing out.

He may not be worth as much money as he claims but he's sure as hell worth enough to run a spite campaign that will sink any hope the GOP has next year.

There are no good answers here for the GOP but my guess is they will find away to come up with the worst one possible. That's kind of what they are best at.

Added: Matthew in the comments asks a great question.

5 He's rabidly pro-abortion, essentially pro-illegal immigration, and fundamentally pro big-government.

Why don't the GOP higher ups love the guy?
And why do the rank and file not hate him?

What kind of topsy turvy world is this?
Posted by: matthew at July 28, 2015 12:12 PM (Z/WIA)


Posted by DrewM. at 12:10 PM Comments

AoSHQ Interview: Noah Pollak On The Iran Nuke Deal

—DrewM.

(Bumped back up top after breaking Planned Parenthood story)

Noah Pollak (@noahpollak) is the Executive Director of The Emergency Committee for Israel and a contributor to The Weekly Standard and The Washington Free Beacon.

We spoke yesterday afternoon about the Iran nuclear deal.

Here's the full interview.

Topics covered include:

Some of the most egregious provisions of the deal. We couldn't get to them all because I wanted to keep this under 30 minutes and an extensive accounting of the deal would take hours.

Why Obama was so desperate for a deal (legacy and/or remaking the Mideast more to his liking).

Implications for the future of the Mideast (spoiler: there are many and none are good from a US perspective). In short, Obama ran on an anti-nuclear proliferation platform and will in the end be responsible for a major escalation in the spread of nuclear weapons.

The Corker-Cardin charade and the fecklessness of Democrats on the matter. Watch Democrats like Schumer to vote against the deal but to uphold Obama's veto.

And finally, because I forgot to do it earlier, the idiocy of so-called "snap back" sanctions. It'll never happen because too many countries will have too much pride on the line and there's too much money to be made.

The timing of this discussion is fortuitous because Secretaries Kerry, Moniz, and Lew are back on Capital Hill today testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the deal.

In related news, John Yoo, the former DoJ lawyer most well known for authoring the legal justification for the "enhanced interrogation" regime during the George W. Bush administration, argues that the Iran deal isn't a treaty for purposes of Senate ratification but the GOP still played its hand poorly.

But critics of the Iran deal should save their strength when it comes to the Constitution. Last spring, Republicans in Congress created a process to review the agreement by majority vote. If Congress disapproves the deal, President Obama can still veto the resolution. In other words, two-thirds of the House and Senate will have to agree to stop the Iran deal — a bizarre inversion of the Treaty Clause.

Congressional Republicans may have scored a political victory by putting every Senate Democrat on the record on the Iran deal, but they have also inadvertently bolstered the deal’s legality. In foreign affairs, as the Supreme Court has observed, the president acts at the height of his constitutional powers when backed up by Congress. In Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer, which blocked President Truman’s seizure of the nation’s steel mills during the Korean War, Justice Robert Jackson famously observed: “When the President acts pursuant to an express or implied authorization of Congress, his authority is at its maximum, for it includes all that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate.” While only a concurrence (and one I tend to disagree with as a misreading of the separation of powers), Jackson’s approach has found its way into the justices’ majority opinions in recent foreign-affairs cases.

In providing a legal basis for the Iran deal, congressional Republicans have only themselves to blame. Nevertheless, conservatives are weighing legal challenges in court. This would be a waste of valuable resources.

Read his whole argument, it's worth the time.

I agree that the Iran deal falls outside the purview of the Ratification Clause but on other grounds. Yoo is far too much of an Executive supremacist for my liking but that doesn't change the facts that all Presidents have tremendous leeway in foreign affairs. Absent some sort of internal restraint (which the Constitution's "checks and balances" was designed to limit the need for) or the political will in the legislature to provoke a showdown, there's not much this or an Congress can do.

Iran and Obama will get their deal. He will ride off into the sunset in a less than a year and a half and then the real work of dealing with this fateful agreement will begin.

Added just because of course it was....


Posted by DrewM. at 10:58 AM Comments

Third Planned Parenthood Video Released

—Gabriel Malor

Update 10:32

I've added the content warning below because the video includes some images of chopped up babies that are likely to stick with you.

Original Post:

flaming_skull2a.gif

The Center for Medical Progress has released a third Planned Parenthood video, promising to be the first of a series. This one focuses on a phlebotomist who was hired by StemExpress as a "procurement technician." She says she found out after she was hired that rather than drawing blood (which is what a phlebotomist does), she was dissecting aborted babies so their parts could be sold off.

Some quotes:

"They do get some kind of benefit."
"They wanted someone who can get the numbers up."
"For whatever we could procure, they would get a certain percentage. The main nurse was always trying to make sure we got our specimens. No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated."

CONTENT WARNING FOR DISTURBING IMAGES

"We were asked to procure certain tissues like brain, livers, thymus, pancreas, heart, lungs, and pretty much anything on the fetus. It's basically a huge trafficking of fetal tissues."

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:52 AM Comments

Morning Thread (7-28-2015)

—Andy

Help us, SMOD 2016. You're our only hope.

Posted by Andy at 05:57 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (7-27-2015)

—Maetenloch

Bringing Back That Old New York Rap

All those who waxed nostalgic over the grittier, realer New York of the 70s and 80s are about to get their wish.

Take a walk around the Grand Hyatt and neighboring Grand Central Terminal these days. It's often like stepping out of Jules Verne's time machine straight back into the 1970s or 1980s. Vanderbilt Avenue, in particular, is becoming once again the urinal of the universe, with one block wall-to-wall "bum stands," as my son, with childhood inventiveness, used to call them: the stolen supermarket shopping cart, the garbage bag full of scavenged cans and bottles for redemption, the prone figure wrapped mummy-like in a filthy blanket. The heart sinks. It took so much effort by so many people to clear up the human wreckage that so many years of liberal "compassion" had created in a dying New York. And to see it all - I can't put it any better than the esteemed New York Post - "pissed away" by a mayor not smart or perceptive enough to have learned one thing from the experience of the last 20 years, since his own personal demons have left him stuck in the politics of the 1950s and 1960s, is tragic. It is so hard to build; so easy to destroy.

Listen, Mayor: the first job of government is to keep the people safe in their homes and in the streets. If you can't do that as a municipal chief executive, you are a flop. Equality is not the job of government, unless you are a Communist, in which case equality usually comes at the barrel of a gun or the end of a noose.

Also: New York Court Orders the Re-Pornification of Times Square.

nyc1980gritty_br headlesspost

Hillary and the Dead Puppy Democrats

MSNBC Commentator Thinks FCC Should Fine People For "Misgendering" Caitlyn Jenner

Never mind that Bruce Jenner is still legally a man named Bruce Jenner.

Another Killer on the Loose in Sanctuary City, San Francisco

WaPo Investigation Reveals That Air Conditioning Is A 'Big, Sexist Plot'

See if you can guess why without me having to mansplain it to you.

Continue reading


Posted by Maetenloch at 10:55 PM Comments

Planned Parenthood Hacked, Says Hacker Group

—Gabriel Malor

Updated 7:25pm

Confirmed.

The women's health and abortion provider said Monday it has reported the crime to the Department of Justice and the FBI.

"Extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood's mission and services have launched an attack on our information systems, and have called on the world's most sophisticated hackers to assist them in breaching our systems and threatening the privacy and safety of our staff members," said Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens Monday afternoon.

Yes, yes, hacking is a crime. Very bad. Don't do. Much punish.

And this feeds the laughable victim mentality of these genocidal vampires.

And yet . . . my sympathy meter is pinging a big fat zero. Let's see those emails.

Original Post

Pro-life hackers? Pro-life hacktivists? Tomato, tomato.

One of the hackers, who goes by the pseudonym “E,” told the Daily Dot that the cyberattack was politically motivated.

“Trying to mold an atrocious monstrosity into socially acceptable behaviors is repulsive,” said E. “Obviously what [Planned Parenthood] does is a very ominous practice. It'll be interesting to see what surfaces when [Planned Parenthood] is stripped naked and exposed to the public.”

Planned Parenthood Chief Information Officer Tom Subak told the Daily Dot on Sunday night that the organization was previously unaware of a breach in their systems.

In a statement, Planned Parenthood says it is investigating the claim.

The hacker group 3301 hasn't released any stolen data yet, but they say they got the Planned Parenthood website databases, names and email addresses of employees, and internal emails.

This part sounds like typical juvenile internet warrior bravado, but take it how you will:

The hackers say they attempted to deface Planned Parenthood's site or have it redirect to the hacker group's Twitter account. However, they were unable to accomplish this goal because, according to E, Planned Parenthood's website “backend is so terribly configured,” which thwarted their attempts to gain further administration access to the site.

Defacing someone's webpage is the internet equivalent of having your pants pulled down in a public place. Embarrassing, but fixable. I'm more interested in these internal emails, which no doubt contain plenty of juicy details.

Think about it. Put some wine in them and the Planned Parenthood people were just fine discussing crushed baby parts over foie gras and brioche toast. One can only imagine the horrible things they say to each other in the comfort of their own emails.

A couple of the broadcast nets gave Planned Parenthood's very own Cruella de Vil an opportunity to defend the organization's enthusiastic organ trafficking efforts this weekend. Mollie Hemingway recaps the ABC appearance in case you missed that horror show.

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:20 PM Comments

Cautionary Tale: Computer Hijacking, Extortion, and Sh*tware

—rdbrewer

Many of you have seen my requests for computer help. I got a lot of help, and I thank you guys for that very much.

Something interesting happened. Have you heard the stories where hackers with custom viruses and worms disable your computer and you have to pay them a ransom to get them to un-f**k your computer? That happened.

I gave up on Greasy-Fast Pig (hereinafter "GFP"), by the way, swapped drives and loaded the OS on the good drive. As soon as I connected to the internet, odd things started to happen. First, I couldn't connect to Norton. Every time I tried to go to Norton or Ad-Aware or Malwarebytes for security programs, my browser dropped me and said it couldn't connect--yet I could connect to Drudge, etc., basically anything not security related. I got a download from the helpful people at Norton on OVERKILL, another computer. But once on GFP, Norton couldn't connect for verification and said my system was unsupported. Absurd. It is supported. So I googled for Norton help, and got a whole Google page of Norton results. Most, if not all, said I could call any time. So I called. The guy searched my computer and said he found a worm, Koobface, and that he was not authorized to fix it. He also said Norton couldn't stop it. He said I'd have to talk to a certified Microsoft Windows technician, and, guess what... they just happened to have one right there in the office.

That made me suspicious, and by then I'd already given them access to my machines. Anyway, for another $250 dollars, he could fix GFP. They had two other pricing plans that were even more. They put the hard sell on me for about 30 minutes. It was obviously a scam.

They are a sophisticated bunch. It turns out that entire page of Googled Norton search results I saw was fake.

Apparently the worm or virus is in my network. So I'm re-formatting and overwriting the drive on GFP. By the way, I told him that would kill any virus there. He said it wouldn't. I guess they get a lot of dumb people on the phone.

So here's what I'm doing: If it's in OVERKILL (and not really affecting it at all. btw), I have to do my work on GFP with OVERKILL off--and after resetting my router. Then, I can connect with GFP and avoid the redirects, etc., get my Norton up and running, and load the other security programs I want.

Here's the kicker. At one point I used a 15gb thumb drive to load Norton, Malwarebytes, and Ad-Aware. That worked, although I couldn't finalize and verify with Norton, as I've said. I've reformatted that thumb drive a dozen times. It takes about 4 seconds. This time I when I hit the button to remove the thumbdrive, I kept getting a warning I needed to reformat before pulling the drive out of GFP. That was odd. But I did. The "reformat" went on and on and on.... In other words, it seemed more like it was loading a program than it was reformatting.

So. I believe I have a copy of their shitware. I've contacted Norton. One would think some security firm would to be interested in that thumb drive.

What's the lesson? It's hard to say, because many of the programs I downloaded to fix GFP were from geek sites, and they were fantastic. Some apparently were not. On one of these downloads, I didn't read the fine print and downloaded something called AVP Secure Search (or something), a search thing you can use in place of Google and the others. But I started looking at what was downloaded. It was hellware. It was an Enormous amount of garbage that had nothing to do with browser searching. I plucked that stuff out by the roots in my registry, but I'm pretty sure I missed a .dll file or two.

Anyway. If you go looking for boot fix programs and the like, talk to someone and find out who is reputable. That's it. This Trojan rode in on one of these fixit programs, and now I have nothing but headaches. And it's exhausting trying to fix this stuff.

My last worry: I hope their worm doesn't have a way to load itself into some chip or something I can't clean with reformatting and overwriting.

Related: Never pay the ransom. Also, call the FBI. It says they're interested in cyber/computer crimes.

Posted by rdbrewer at 06:47 PM Comments

Failure Theater Watch: House Claims It Won't Pass Senate Highway Bill

—Andy

I wouldn't break out my dancing shoes quite yet, but

The House will not vote on a multi-year Senate highway bill that revives the now-expired Export-Import Bank, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Monday.

“We’re not taking up the Senate bill,” McCarthy declared to a roomful of reporters in his office.

Instead, McCarthy urged the Senate to take up a short-term House-passed bill which extends federal highway funding for five months, without renewing the Ex-Im Bank charter. He called the House bill the “best option” for Congress before money for highways, bridges and mass transit runs out on Friday.

As Ed Morrissey points out, all the weekend drama in the Senate seems pretty foolish if this is the
end result, but, hey, that "Entertainment Wing" sure is embarrassing, amirite?

Posted by Andy at 05:09 PM Comments

"Why Does The GOP Exist?"

—DrewM.

Ben Domenech asks that reasonable question. Sadly, there's no reasonable answer.

After running through the GOP's recent collapses on fiscal restraint, national security and pro-life issues he concludes with the only answer possible....

Well, actually, the aim is to pass a Highway Bill. It is a thousand page tax and pork-laden monstrosity which does not deserve to pass in the first place, and whose failure would be greeted as a positive development for any fiscal conservative. For conservatives, the Highway Bill is a bad thing that could be the vehicle for something politically useful. For Republicans, this is not the case. The passage of a Planned Parenthood defunding amendment would set up a direct conflict with the White House over the issue, and undercut McConnell’s priority of passing a Highway Bill with an Ex-Im resurrection attached to it – two things that are not a priority at all for Republican voters, mind you, but for the corporatist constituency the Republican Party actually serves, are near the top of the list.

And that is why the Republican Party exists.

Again, there was a better and conservative alternative to the GOP's traditional "shower money on unions and Chamber of Commerce members" approach. But hey, what's 1.3 billion dollars more in debt so long as the donor class gets its return on investment?

I think the GOP success in 2010 is the worst thing to ever happen to conservatives. After the Bush/Hastert/Lott years the GOP had been cast out over spending, Iraq and the financial collapse. The Democrat overreach of 09-10 returned the GOP back to power before conservatives had time to sufficiently purge the GOP's ranks of the type of people who led it to disaster in the first place. Instead of arguing over the proper direction of the party (and the conservative movement) the GOP was thrust back into power.

Boehner, McConnell and their top lieutenants were just a step below the disgraced establishment figures that led the GOP to electoral disasters. They rode the "TEA party" wave back into power but they don't reflect the post 2010 mood of the conservative movement. They are as much in the pocket of the DC spending establishment as those that came before.

The conclusion the party leadership reached was 2006 and 2008 were just the normal ebb and flow of politics along with some extraordinary events. The GOP didn't see the anger at the bank bailouts and the like as the culmination of disgust with the party's leftward swing. They simply saw it as a storm they could weather before returning to business as usual.

They read the 2010 elections as a sign that their basic positions were sound and voters would once again support them without any sort of deep soul searching or course correction.

Take McConnell for example. Not only did he refuse to let conservatives offer an amendment to the highway bill to defund Planned Parenthood, he personally lobbied GOP Senators to vote for an Attorney General that is investigating the group that brought the body parts trafficking to light.

The mismatch between the energy, and yes anger, that provided the GOP with a quick return to power and their view of how the GOP and government should function is at the root of the current discontent within the party.

A new CNN/ORC Poll finds that just 30% of registered voters nationwide say they feel their views are well represented by the government in Washington, while 40% say they are not represented well at all. That figure spikes among Republican and Republican-leaning voters. Among GOP voters, 53% say they don't feel their views are well represented in Washington at all, nearly double the 27% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who feel the same way.

That's a stunning figure considering the GOP was returned to power with record wins just 7 months ago.

Right now the only thing the GOP has to offer is "but, but Hillary." If the current Trump bubble is any indication of the real mood of many conservatives (and that's far from certain) the GOP may find its, er, trump card isn't going to work this time.

Political parties and movements need identifiable goals to attract and motivate supporters. The GOP is has been running an interesting experiment for the last 6 years or so....can a party prosper by delivering only for its elite financial supporters "victories" that are in direct conflict with the goals of a significant portion of its voting base?

So far the answer has been yes but it doesn't seem to be a sustainable business model. Time will tell.

Posted by DrewM. at 02:30 PM Comments

Boston To U.S. Olympic Committee: No Thanks

—Gabriel Malor

I don't think this is as serious as the media is reporting it. This is posturing. The committee wants Boston to hurry up and sign a host city agreement that includes a provision to pay for cost overruns (of which, there will be many, of course). The mayor has to put on a big show of pretending to care about it.

Walsh made his announcement at a hastily called news conference that coincided with Gov. Charlie Baker's meeting with the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The USOC was pressing Baker for assurances that he would back the bid, but Baker said he couldn't do it until he saw a detailed report about the games from a consulting group. That report isn't expected until next month.

Olympic bids need strong support from key city leaders. The USOC board was meeting later Monday to discuss the future of the bid. Baker's recalcitrance, combined with an about-face from a previously supportive Walsh, gives the board an opening to pull the plug on Boston, where public support has lagged.

The deadline for nominating a U.S. city is September 15, but the committee is eager to get an agreement now. Los Angeles is waiting in the wings.

Andy tells me "the idea of hosting the Olympics is about as popular as the clap up here in Boston. We've seen this movie before." Like this junk-punch op-ed.

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:20 PM Comments

No, The Lafayette Gunman Did Not Buy His Gun Legally

—Andy

Update: And just like that, the most important words in the original post became "[p]resuming the reported involuntary commitment order is correct ...".

The man who killed two people in a Louisiana movie theater last week was able to legally purchase a gun despite a judge’s order sending him to a mental hospital in 2008 because he was never involuntarily committed for treatment, a county probate judge told The Washington Post on Monday.

Original post below.

###

Various versions of this story are all over the news.

Lafayette theater shooter bought gun legally, police say

(CNN) [perpetrator's name redacted -- Andy] methodically shot 11 people in a Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theater using a handgun he legally purchased from an Alabama pawn shop, authorities said Friday.

...

The gun [perpetrator] used, a Hi-Point .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol, was legally purchased in February 2014 from a shop in Phenix City, Alabama, [Lafayette Police Chief Jim ] Craft said, citing the the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Drew Griffin, a senior investigative correspondent for CNN, said it appears [perpetrator] was cleared to buy the gun because he didn't have any convictions for serious crimes.

"He just didn't show up on any of the instant background checks," Griffin said.

That's interesting, because according to this piece:

Soon after, [perpetrator] visited the home of another relative, who called police to complain that he was threatening her. The county issued an involuntary commitment order for [perpetrator] after the family said they feared he was “a danger to himself and others,” the documents said. The court also issued a protective order in 2008 requiring that he not stalk, harass or try to contact his wife, his daughter, her fiance or the fiance’s family.

Say, these sound exactly like a couple of the questions on Form 4473 (PDF) that answering "Yes" to would result in a blocked purchase (and commission of a felony).

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 2.53.43 PM.png

I've read other pieces that indicate the protective order may have been dropped, but the county's involuntary commitment order should make him a prohibited person, and he should be flagged in NICS resulting in an inability to pass the background check run by the FFL.

Presuming the reported involuntary commitment order is correct, it appears that this wasn't a "legal purchase" at all. It looks more like yet another NICS failure that allowed a prohibited person to acquire a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer.

A NICS denial likely wouldn't have prevented him from ultimately acquiring a gun or committing an act of mass murder with another weapon like knives or gasoline, but it is important that we properly assess the flaws in the existing system as the anti-gunners continue to bleat about "universal background checks" and the like, which will continue the pattern of burdening law-abiding citizens' second amendment rights while failing to prevent criminals from acquiring firearms.

Related: Movie theater shooter's mental problems didn't stop gun buy

Posted by Andy at 12:26 PM Comments

Financial Troubles Plague The State-Run ACA Exchanges

—Gabriel Malor

"The viability of state health insurance exchanges has been a challenge across the country, particularly in small states, due to insufficient numbers of uninsured residents."

Oh. Oooooooh.

Let me make sure I understood. Not enough uninsured people? That's what he said, right? Because it seems to me that Democrats spent years claiming that there ware millions of uninsured people who were going to DIE all over our sidewalks if the taxpayers didn't cough up the cash to build these Obamacare exchanges. Was that not true?

Read the whole piece because it covers all the tropes of failed liberal policy.

1. The entire policy started from a false premise.

"The viability of state health insurance exchanges has been a challenge across the country, particularly in small states, due to insufficient numbers of uninsured residents," said a statement from the office of Hawaii Democratic Gov. David Ige, announcing last month that his state's sign-ups were being turned over to the federal government.

It turns out that the very expensive solution of upending the nation's healthcare systems to serve relatively few people is not a good plan. Go figure.

2. Magical thinking.

Twelve states and the District of Columbia fully control their markets. Experts estimate about half face financial difficulties. Federal taxpayers invested nearly $5 billion in startup grants to the states, expecting that state markets would become self-sustaining. Most of the federal money has been spent, and states have to face the consequences.

Self-sustaining? How was "more services" and "fewer costs" ever going to be self-sustaining? It was magical thinking, as Vermont discovered:

In Vermont, a debate has been raging about whether to abandon the state exchange. Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin originally wanted a single state-run system for all residents, along the lines of Canada. Shumlin backed off because it would have meant prohibitively high taxes.

3. The solution must be kept secret.

The Obama administration's annual conference with state exchange directors will focus on sustainability, they say. They also say the two-day meeting will be closed to the media.

4. Misuse of taxpayer money.

The feds are investigating exchanges or exchange officials in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Oregon for misdeeds ranging from misuse of millions in federal funds to outright fraud.

Who could not have seen this coming?

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:18 AM Comments

Democratic Controlled Senate Tells Conservatives To Go To Hell, Sets Up Hot GOP On GOP Action Vs. House Over Highway Spending

—DrewM.

When last we visited GOP Failure Theater: Highway Spending Edition, Ted Cruz was calling Mitch McConnell a liar on the floor of the Senate and McConnell was busy ensuring the Ex-Im Bank rose from the dead while preventing any conservatives amendments from being offered.

All of this came to a head in a rare Sunday Senate session where the GOP delivered the votes to add the Ex-Im to the bill but prevented Ted Cruz from offering an amendment that would have forced the Iranians to recognize Israel and free four Americans before any deal with Obama could go into effect.

Cruz's amendment was ruled out of order and he appealed the ruling of the chair. GOP leadership is angry at Cruz so they denied him "a sufficient second" (11 Senators) to get a role call vote on his appeal.

Mike Lee also offered an amendment to pass a repeal of ObamaCare which would have also required 51 votes on an appeal of the chair. For some reason the GOP denied him a roll call vote on his appeal. Thus preventing the GOP from passing an ObamaCare repeal with only 51 votes. Attempts to bring up an amendment to defund the body parts traffickers at Planned Parenthood.

Of course had those amendments passed the Democrats would have filibustered the bill thus killing the highway bill and the Ex-Im re-authorization.

At least we know the GOP's priorities.

In fairness, McConnell did allow a pretend ObamaCare repeal vote which needed 60 votes. It got 49. So yeah, the GOP couldn't even muster a majority to pretend to repeal ObamaCare.

Lee was not amused.

"That Senate leaders blocked votes on amendments to defund Planned Parenthood and require Iran to recognize Israel's right to exist is a disappointment," Lee said. "But the way they did it — by disenfranchising the people of Utah on the Senate floor — is absolutely unacceptable. Utahns and all Americans deserve to have their voices heard on these questions."

"Tomorrow," Lee added, "begins the work of doing better."

Yes, always tomorrow. Why if you just give the GOP 745 House seats, 342 Senate seats, the presidency and 63 SCOTUS seats, then they might be able to do something you like (but probably not). Until then, keep those checks, volunteer hours and votes coming!

Next year gang! Next year.

Reminder: Lee had a better highway plan that never even got a sniff from the GOP leadership. It involved less federal control and that means less ROI to the party's investors/owners at the Chamber of Commerce. Can't have that kind of crazy talk.

So now that Senate has passed a multi year highway bill that is partially funded (and that part is full of gimmicks that will never produce the money it promises) and the House has passed a five month short term extension that is funded by changes to international tax laws that McConnell says won't pass this year. The House bill doesn't include an Ex-Im save either.

The Senate is set to pass the highway bill today and with funding for the Highway Trust fund set to hit its statutory floor on Friday, we should see who blinks in the next day or two.

In the matter of McConnell vs. Boehner I shall be rooting for injuries.

Posted by DrewM. at 10:18 AM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


Mark Haworth, "Quiet Repose" (n.d.)

Posted by rdbrewer at 09:38 AM Comments

Morning Thread (7-27-2015)

—Andy

Well done, Senate Majority Leader Reid. Well done.

Posted by Andy at 06:07 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (7-26-2015)

—Maetenloch

Quote of the Day

Americans seem to be less shocked than a wee little foreigner such as I that this republic has a corrupt tax collection agency that torments its ideological opponents. I must say the original revelations about the IRS - what is it now? two, three years ago? - did shock me, and the fact that all those people are still in place carrying on as usual shocks me even more. I'm old-fashioned enough to regard a nonpartisan civil service as a basic building block of a civilized society.

But the relevance of this to my own situation isn't hard to follow: Michael E Fraudpants' lawyers have already asked for my "donor list". Mann's fellow scientist Dr Peter Gleick burrowed his way into the Heartland Institute and leaked their donor list, and, when that didn't quite do the trick for his purposes, he faked up his own Heartland top-secret document. (Like Mann, Dr Gleick remains a respected figure in the world of climate science.)

So I could set up a 501(c)79(f) and have Mann demanding I cough up the names so that Lois Lerner's chums can audit them, and, if I stonewalled, I'd have to stay up all night to check whether that weird noise at three in the morning is Dr Gleick crawling down the ventilation shaft.

So I'd rather do things the old-fashioned way and sell our exclusive range of DC Superior Court trialwear.

-- Mark Steyn

In Defense of America's Love of Air Conditioning and Why It Is Eco-Friendly

I've worked with Germans. And Brits. And Swedes. And Dutch people. And French people. All of whom professed themselves absolutely baffled by our insistence on wasting so much energy cooling our offices and homes, when we could just build buildings that cool themselves naturally if we open the windows occasionally.

For Europeans reading this, I may actually be able to clear up this baffling issue: Americans use air conditioning more because America is a lot hotter than Europe is. For example, in Washington, where the weather is apparently "pretty similar" to Berlin, it is expected to be 87 degrees Fahrenheit (31 Celsius) tomorrow. In Berlin, Weather.com informs me that temperatures are expected to be a torrid, sultry . 75 Fahrenheit (23 Celsius).

Of course, on any two random days, the weather might be unseasonably cold or unseasonably hot. You really need to look at monthly averages. And lo and behold, when we look, we discover that Washington has an average temperature of 88 degrees in July, while Berlin has an average temperature of . 73 (yes, that is indeed 31 and 23 Celsius).

And we're not talking about a place that's really hot, like Dallas (average July temperature is 96, or 36 Celsius) or Phoenix (106, or 41 Celsius). We're just talking about a rather ordinary American city in roughly the middle of the country's north-to-south span.

We do have some cities with more European temperatures, including San Francisco and Seattle, but they are not our largest population centers. The rest of the country, even places that are frozen wastelands in the winter, experiences summertime average highs above 80 degrees. That's not a rogue heat wave, the kind that Northern Europeans complain about endlessly while futilely fiddling with their fans. That's just what we Americans call "summer." A heat wave is when it's 100 degrees (38 Celsius) and your dog won't go outside because the pavement burns his feet. . . .

You could argue that if Americans had not migrated en masse from the temperate north to the blistering sunbelt, we would need less energy for climate control. You could argue that, but you'd be wrong. Americans still expend much more energy heating their homes than cooling them. That's actually not that surprising. The difference between the average temperature outside and the temperature that is comfortable inside is generally only 10 to 20 degrees in most of America, for most of the summer. On the other hand, in January, the residents of Rochester, New York - the cold, snowy, rapidly depopulating area that my mother hails from - you need to get the temperature up from an average low of 18 degrees (-8 Celsius) to at least 60 or 65. That takes a lot of energy.

On average, the move from cold areas to warm ones has actually saved energy, not caused us to use more. So why are we so down on air conditioning, while accepting flagrant heat use as normal? In part, it's because air conditioning still seems optional. Unlike a cold winter with no heat, a hot summer with no cooling won't definitely kill you.

And here Daniel Engber shows that AC is actually cheaper and more efficient than heating:

[T]he case against AC has always been more a moral judgment than a scientific one. Summer cooling is no more damaging to the climate than the heating that we do in winter. In fact, it's substantially less so, since the United States burns more fuel on radiators than it does on air conditioners. According to the most recent stats available from the federal government (which cover 2010), the average American household puts 40.4 million British thermal units into home heating, and just 9.3 million BTUs into home cooling. As I've pointed out before, this explains why the long-term shift in population from our coldest, Northern states into the hot and humid South has in sum reduced the amount of fossil fuel we burn to keep our houses at a comfortable temperature. Simply put: It's more efficient to air-condition homes in Florida than it is to warm the ones in Minnesota.

As Insty points out, "snobs, busybodies and puritans seem to occupy colder climates for some reason."

aceamerica233

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Posted by Maetenloch at 11:11 PM Comments

A Baseball Thread: Midway through Already?! [BCochran]

—Open Blogger

[This is delayed because of the joys of Cablevision!]

baseball_thread___ill__brush_by_stoostock-d36pk9o.jpg

Hello again my fellow park rats. Grab a beer and a brat and let's talk some baseball.

So we're just over halfway through the season and I figure this is a good place to look at some statistical leaders. Sample size is plenty big enough at this point for it to be worthwhile.

Now, I know there are lots of new stats and crazy stats and OBP and WAR and OPP and NAACP and FBI and CIA and whatever else statisticians make up to justify their ongoing existence, but forget all that. Let's look at the old school stuff. Let's look at what everyone knows. The oldies but goodies.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 09:15 PM Comments

Chess On A Sunday Evening [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger

Howdy, folks. This is an open thread, but in memory of the late, unlamented Saturday afternoon chess thread from a couple of years ago, I have some chess content I've been sitting on for awhile. First up, is the upcoming Bobby Fischer biopic, Pawn Sacrifice, due out in September. My comments follow.


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Posted by Open Blogger at 06:30 PM Comments

Food Thread: [CBD]

—Open Blogger

animal style.jpg

Everyone knows about In-N-Out Burger's secret menu, but I had no idea that it is a common thing among fast food chains.The Ultimate List of Secret Menu Items sounds like fun, and might even be true!

*********

"COOL" is country-of-origin-labeling for certain food products. This program comes into conflict with a World Trade Organization (WTO) decision that it discriminates against imported products. A bill has been introduced in the US Senate that would make this labeling voluntary for some meat products, specifically from Canada and Mexico.
In May, the World Trade Organization rejected a U.S. appeal of its decision that COOL on meat unfairly discriminates against meat imports and give the advantage to domestic meat products.

As a result, the program must be reformed to honor existing trade relations with Canada and Mexico and to avoid retaliatory tariffs.


I very much want to know where my food is from, and the idea that this is going to be voluntary is a cute, pie-in-the-sky sort of government solution. Are we going to pretend that beef butchered in a Mexican slaughterhouse is subjected to the same scrutiny as that of Canadian beef or American beef?

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Posted by Open Blogger at 04:00 PM Comments

2 Weeks of Chaos (Gaming thread)

—Gang of Gaming Morons!

This week and next will have every orifice crammed with gaming stuff that hits about every sector in the industry.

These next two weeks are going to be busy busy.


This Week

ChinaJoy 2015

Asia's preminate videogame convention kicks off as ChinaJoy opens up on Thursday. Last year it pulled in 250K people to oogle singing female cosplayers while they take in the lights and sounds of PC and mobile games. This is the big convention for League of Legends and Korean gaming in general. Sony and Microsoft are having press conferences. With Sony's plans to foster relationships with Chinese devs, I'm expecting them to have a big blowout on signing them up to make console games for the PS4. Console wise, Microsoft doesn't care so outside of giving lipservice, it's going to be a bust. Since they gave the finger to TGS, I's personally would like to see some stuff on Raiden VI and Natsuki Chronicals but I know that's a pipedream. Now Windows 10 on the other hand, I'm expecting some partnerships with people like Tencent in bringing their games to the built in app store. If you want the gaming section of the store to become big, that's a good inroad to get people to use their ecosystem.
I'll be curious in how many Asian devs announce new MOBAs for mobile as Vain & Glory has shown, there is a market for it.

Summer Games Done Quick 2015

Today kicked off the start of the biannual fundraising drive by Speed Demos Archives which will run till August 3rd. Like the last two years for the summer drive, SDA is raising money again for Doctors Without Borders. Last year they raised just over $700k. Though the Winter one is bigger, all of the drives are fun to watch on Twitch. I'm personally waiting to see some people pull out crazy ass glitches to beat games. Look at the schedule and pick out some stuff you want to watch (also, the streams are awesome for background noise)


Next Week

The International 5

Today also kicked off the start of The International with it's wild card round (actual tournament starts August 3rd) It's not the biggest eSport tournament in the world but it does have the biggest prize pool with it currently sitting just under $17.5m+ to be won by the 16 of 18 professional DOTA 2 teams. On one hand, it's smart business of getting people to fund the prize pool (while Valve pockets 75% of the money) which leads to stuff like this year where $17.5m+ is going to be doled out. You also get some good press about the prize pool while squeezing your consumers for all their worth. But on the other hand, it's killed the competative scene for the game with no one really caring about the game outside of this tournament which is really sad as it was THE game and has just let League of Legends to eat their lunch with everyone watching their tournaments every week as they matter. I dunno, it's the clash of Western style eSports (DOTA) vs Eastern style eSports (LoL). Either way, The International has always been an awesome tournament to watch with tons of great matchups with very cool strats being played out. The money really does bring out the best in the teams. I'm kinda curious if ESPN will show the finals again like they did last year. And if they do, I hope the Mouse does their own thing if they do a "documentary" on hyping it up as the thing Valve did last year was real bad. And this year, Fathom Events is showing the final day's games in movie theaters all over the country (if it wouldn't be 10 hours of BO and ass funk, I'd go). It's kinda worth it just to see Kaci Aitchison blown up on the big screen.

Gamescon

As soon as Asia's biggest game show ends, Euro's biggest game show begins on the 5th. Console wise, everyone but Sony is going to be there (they're doing the Paris show in October) and doing press conferences. Microsoft is treating this year's Gamescon as part 2 of E3 with Quantum Break, Scalebound and Crackdown 3 as the jewels of the show. Hopefully they show off that RTS for the PC they've been working on last few years. Square's presser is supposed to mainly be about Final Fantasy XIV. Frankly outside of the MS presser, I'm mainly interested in news and photos of the new Fanatec steering wheels and hoping for Logitech to show off their G29 wheel. Also will be nice to see more news on the upcoming Master of Orion game from Wargaming.net.

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Posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 03:06 PM Comments

Red State vs. Blue State: The Real Data [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Here's an interesting article from The Federalist about the skewing of poverty measures. Most of us around these parts laugh at government data, but this is a nice little debunking of the myth that Red states are poorer.....America's Future: California or Texas

The familiar official measure is more than 50 years old, and is showing its age. It has two huge shortcomings: it considers the cost of living to be the same in the 48 contiguous states (a patently ridiculous proposition when considering that the average rent in San Francisco in the first quarter of 2015 was $3,458 vs. $867 in Houston), and it doesn't account for in-kind benefits, such as Section Eight housing subsidies and Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (food stamps).

Thus, the federal governmen's main poverty gauge undercounts material poverty levels in high-cost states such as California, New York, and Hawaii, while over-counting true poverty in much of the low-cost Midwest and South.

As Ace says, "read the whole thing."

Posted by Open Blogger at 02:01 PM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 07-26-2015 [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger


unknown library.jpg
Abbey Library of St. Gall, Switzerland

(Not sure what library this is, but the photo came from here.)

(Update: thanks to 'major major major major' for identifying the library in the photo)


Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The Sunday Morning Book Thread is the only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Assless chaps don't count. Serious you guys. Kilts are OK, though. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.


Book thread MULTIPLE TRIGGER WARNINGS because taxes are not "contributions", they're more like "forced extractions", the adjective "social" negates whatever noun it modifies, and the problems facing our country have become too great to be solved by voting.

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.
William Styron


The Unspeakable Crimes of Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card is probably the worst person in the entire world, in fact, a "monster". Says so at the end of this 2013 article right here. Why? Guess. Well, many of you morons probably already know, but for those who don't, Mr. Card is guilty of Thoughtcrime; he hasn't done anything to actually hurt the author, or for that matter, anyone else, but no matter, he holds views on homosexual marriage and homosexuality in general that SJWs do not approve of. And that is sufficient to warrant his expulsion from the human race entirely.

So Orson Scott Card is not "of the Body". OK, fine.

But there are other reasons for SJWs to hate Mr. Card. They probably won't like the fact that he has written a series of Biblically-themed books that are probably, like his own beliefs, not in accord with SJW dogma. The first one of Card's "Woman of Genesis" series, Sarah,

...child of the desert, wife of Abraham, takes on vivid reality as a woman desirable to kings, a devoted wife, and a faithful follower of the God of Abraham, chosen to experience an incomparable miracle.

And:

In his afterword, Card explains that here he is not an apologist for the Bible, but rather "an apologist for Sarah, a tough, smart, strong, bright woman in an era when women did not show up much in historical records."

Most of the time, the traditional Bible accounts are pretty skeletal and there's much that can be fleshed out, and many gaps that can be filled in. So there's lots of room for a creative imagination to work, which can be either a bad thing or a good thing. I consider myself pretty lenient about this, (for example, I'm a fan of the Zombie Bible series, which, despite injecting a zombie storyline to various Bible stories, still remains more or less true to the text) as long as the fiction writer does not distort the biblical narrative out of all recognition. So I think it's perfectly OK to make Sarah a "a tough, smart, strong, bright woman". But remember what it says about her in the New Testament:

(1 Pet.3:6)...as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

So, in order to maintain a biblically accurate picture of Sarah, her devotion to her husband must also be factored in to her "smart, tough" nature. Which in no way would this detract from her strength as a woman. However, most SJWs, blinded as they are by a cramped and narrow ideology, would not be able to understand this. Or, if they could, it would probably be not well enough to write a convincing character. SJWs would have to pretend that the 1 Peter passage didn't exist, or do something stupid like turn Sarah into a Bronze Age lesbian activist railing against the patriarchy, which is a character they'd obviously be more comfortable with.

The two other books in the "Women of Genesis" series are Rebekah and Rachel and Leah.

Card also wrote Stone Tables, his imagining of the life of Moses. The Amazon review by Lawrance Bernabo, which came up first on the page, is very informative and I really can't sum it up without just copying and pasting the whole thing.

Yes, I'm lazy.

The point is, Orson Scott Card is apocolyptically evil and ought to be shunned by all Right-Thinking people.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 08:55 AM Comments

Early Morning Thread 7/26/15 [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

Sunday. A day off mourning: My smoker died, leaving behind a lovely pork loin, a plump turkey breast, and some fifteen forlorn ribs.

Every dark cloud does have its silver lining: The wife is already on board with the idea of a smoker that is 50% larger.

Posted by Open Blogger at 06:00 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (25 Jul 2015)

—CDR M

WTF? Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard is set to be paroled. Is this to placate Israel over the Iran deal? I don't like this message that we are sending with this. We are paying for Chelsea Manning to get hormone therapy and now we're paroling a traitor before the end of their sentence.

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Posted by CDR M at 09:58 PM Comments

Open Thread: Best Movies for... [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

On the aging Gardening Thread we were talking about "Manliest Movies" (based on a link in that thread).

What's your favorite movie for...

...going out with "the guys"?

...a first date?

...a quiet night at home?

...getting over insomnia?

One of my go-to "insomnia" movies is "My Cousin Vinny." I almost always fall asleep at the same part of the movie. Rarely fails me.

It's not that I don't like that movie. I DO like it. But it's got the right pacing and sound level (no explosions), plus a decent soundtrack. Very relaxing.

Kelly's Heroes is another movie I put in the DVD player when I'm home alone and trying to unwind.


Open thread.

Posted by Open Blogger at 05:55 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread: Practical Magic [Y-not, KT, WD]

—Open Blogger

Y-not: Good afternoon, gardeners!

Today's edition of the Saturday Gardening Thread is brought to you by Sandra Bullock in Practical Magic:

(OK, that was an overdose of Chick Flickiness, wasn't it? To make amends, here's xbradtc's Loaded Heat post on Ms. Bullock for the morons.)

Practical Magic

A bit of a cop out from me this week owing to some travel and Life Stuff. My contribution will be practical garden solutions.

First off, as usual after a trip I returned to find my hanging baskets looking rather pathetic. They're filled with geraniums, which tend to be hard to kill, so I watered the beejeebus out of them when I got back. I may have been better-served to plant them self-watering hanging baskets. And, speaking of hanging baskets, I thought this was a cute idea for one:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 01:50 PM Comments

The Infantalization of America [CBD]

—Open Blogger

bok-unarmed.jpg

One of the ways that the hard Left takes power is to make the people dependent...and this has extended to our armed forces.

The idea that a United States Marine cannot be trusted with his service weapon at all times and in all places is ludicrous. Yet we have accepted it as the status quo. Hopefully that will change.....

And Open Thread until Y-not wakes up from her nap.....

Posted by Open Blogger at 12:40 PM Comments

King Dave! [Weirddave]

—Open Blogger

I don't have any fundamental concepts today, but I do have some thoughts from a conversation I had earlier this week. We were talking about the upcoming election and issues and candidates and blah, blah, blah when my friend asked me “What would you do?”. I started to answer and he clarified. “No. What would you do? If you had complete and utter control of the country? If you were made King Dave?”.


Now that's an interesting thought.

Channeling my inner Tom Freidman, this is what I came up with:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 10:45 AM Comments

Saturday Politics Thread: July 25th News Roundup [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Good morning, horde! I was traveling most of this week, so I thought today I'd do a news roundup, focusing on positive stories from each* of the campaigns.

First up, let's check in on Scott Walker, who is the best-polling conservative in the race at this early stage of the primary (particularly in Iowa). Governor Walker gave a major address at ALEC last week. (The American Legislative Exchange Council is an organization of state legislators that endorses pro-growth policies such as Right-to-Work. Governor Walker was a member of ALEC when he was in the Wisconsin legislature.) I wasn't able to find a transcript of his speech, but you can watch it here.

Walker also had an exchange with an illegal alien family during an appearance at a manufacturing plant in Dubuque, Iowa last week:

A video that captured the exchange between Walker and the Wisconsin resident shows Walker expressing sympathy for the man's plight, but repeatedly reiterating, "We are a nation of laws."

"The president 22 times before last November said he can't do what he did," Walker said. "He ignored the law."

An activist from Wisconsin's Voces de la Frontera, as identified by the Washington Post, sought to interrupt Walker but the governor said he wanted to speak only to the family. The illegal immigrant parent also asked about whether Walker would deport him and separate him from his family.

"Going forward, we got to fix the system, that starts with securing the border," Walker said. "We've got to enforce the law and then we go forward with a legal immigration system that puts a priority on families here in America."

I honestly don't know what he means by putting a "priority on families here in America." Does he mean U.S. citizens or does he mean reuniting families "divided" by illegal immigration? I hope it is the former as it seems as if the "families first" approach from the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 is at the heart of our current immigration policies (and failures).


Late last week, there was good news for Governor Perry:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 07:35 AM Comments

Early Morning Thread 7/25/15 [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

Happy Saturday.

Posted by Open Blogger at 06:00 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (24 Jul 2015)

—CDR M

Y'all ready for the Lobster War? The tiny islands where Canada and America are at war. All Canada needs to do is start a negotiation with John Kerry and the odds are pretty high they'll get what they want. It worked for Iran.

BTW, in case BC hasn't told you yet, today is national tequila day. Drink up morons.

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Posted by CDR M at 10:04 PM Comments

Welcome Home

—Dave In Texas

46 years ago today, Apollo 11 astronauts Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong returned safely from the moon.

Here's a little technology perspective because the years that have passed since this day in 1969 have brought amazing things. It was a mere 66 years from Kitty Hawk to the moon.

Apollo 11 returned.jpg

Posted by Dave In Texas at 07:51 PM Comments

So Here's What Gabe Was Talking About

—Ace

I read Gabe's tweet, where he said something like, "all of a sudden so many suspicions of what's behind the anti-immigration push are suddenly confirmed."

Like many of you, I was annoyed at Gabe. I am frequently annoyed at Gabe. If I didn't like him so much, I'd hate Gabe.

But here's what Gabe was reacting to. I just got a facefull of this crap myself:

The word "#cuckservative" is being used as a banner-of-convenience by a conglomeration of several types of people, who range from what I'd call mere nativists to actual, hard-core, Nazi-flag-in-their-twitter profile white supremacists.

Now, some using this term "#cuckservative" assure me that not all of the people using the term are white supremacists. I believe them, on general heuristic principle: I mean, collecting under any flag will be a whole host of different people, with a wide range of motives, some of them unobjectionable, some of them erroneous but not what you'd call condemnable, and some simply odious.

The claims range from "we shouldn't give in to any claims of racism" to "racism is actually a positive and natural social good."

So I'm not going to say that everyone using the term "#cuckservative" is a white supremacist. In fact, when I first saw it yesterday, I assumed it was a reference to the McConnell/Boehner wing of corporate cuckolds.

In fact, many people might think it means just that -- and for them, it does. If that's what you think it means, that's what it means, for you.

However, it's an objective fact that many using the term, and stinging social media like race-warring hornets, are indeed out and proud white supremacists, or at least the sorts of person who casually uses the word "muds" (as in "I'm not going to stand by and see my country polluted by muds" -- that sort of thing) in the belief that this is a socially-acceptable shorthand for "anyone who isn't a Scots-Irish-or-Germanic white person."

So what Gabe was complaining about, so you know the context, is that these people have not only come out of the closets, but they have come out of the closets in force -- that is, they are really swarming Twitter.

I don't know how many there are -- someone told me he'd blocked a bunch -- but they are, as, ahem, racially-conscious folk tend to be, highly energetic about their views.

Now, again, I don't want to claim that this is all people using the term, nor do I want to claim that the fact that the immigration-restrictionist camp has some actual out-and-proud Nazi-flag-displaying white supremacists among them, discredits that political idea. (Though, gotta admit, I feel a lot dirtier about being an immigration-restrictionist now than I did an hour ago.)

The truth is, there are always racists in the movement, or, not even in the movement, actually, as they tend to be outside of the movement, but there are racists adjacent to the movement, always hoping and pushing the conservative movement to become what they think it really should be, a champion of the White Race and Protector of Peoples of European Descent, or whatever they're calling it this week.

This no more discredits immigration-restrictionism than it does conservatism or Republicanism as a whole; there are no liberals, for example, who would claim that the Democrat party or liberalism is discredited by the loathsome people adjacent to that party or that movement -- Maoists, unrepentant bombers, terrorists, Black Panther cop killers, communists, etc.

They would say "they are fringe; they're not us."

And I say: "Yes, that's what I say too, and yet you don't seem to credit me when I say it."

One part of politics -- the stupidest part of politics, that part most favored by our insipid, soap-commercial media "news" -- consists of forever attempting to discredit an idea or policy not by an actual intellectual, evidentiary case made against that idea or policy, but of simple smear-tactic guilty-by-association nonsense. "Dylann Roof maybe was sort of conservative, so Reagan was wrong!"

Of course we do this on the right, too. Bill Ayers does not prove that socialism is wrong. (It does prove that Obama is a hard radical, and that murder is considered chic among the high sectors of the moronic "intellectual" left.)

It's a stupid form of argumentation, it's base, and it's ineffably tribal, and I don't like when it's done to me, and while I do it to others, I do it far less frequently now, and... well, at least I feel bad about it.

One can never stop sinning, I don't think (at least my more religious correspondents tell me so). I think the most one can do is to limit one's transgressions, and make a sort of penance, whether of the traditionally spiritual sort of even a non-traditionally spiritual sort (I'm attempting a sort of penance-by-honesty-and-good-behavior, a secular notion but who knows, maybe there's something to it; we'll see. (I know that Saves me not at all.))

So I won't beat up on these guys too much, nor brand the less-racist ones of them with the sins of the more-racist ones.

And I hope, meanwhile, that no one will be too quick to brand me with the sins of the Dude With the Nazi Flag, or the Other Dude With The Mixed Nazi and Confederate Flags.

And I hope Gabe won't think I'm a racist.

And, while we're on that subject, I hope you'll take my word for it and give Gabe a break on that Tweet: I swear to you upon a stack of... what does an agnostic swear upon? ... a stack of Declaration of Independences that man, when you get a sudden barrage of improved-cylinder 10-guage white supremacist shot right in your face, you kind of notice it, and you kind of have to say something about it.

Like I'm doing now.

All I can say is:

1, Holy Shit,

2, I did not know there were so many white supremacists (though, I have to say, of course, there were only about six buzzing at my face, but it's more I've ever seen at the same time),

and 3, while I have of course known there were racists in, or adjacent to, the conservative movement forever, and have really not denied this (I tend to instead point out, for the sake of context, all those xenophobic bitter clingers in the Democrat Party that so bothered our Lord King Barack Obama in his Glorious Ascent), I am right now thinking that there are more white supremacists than I previously acknowledged, and am currently up in the air as to whether to dismiss this solely as a fringe-of-the-fringe phenomenon.

So that's what Gabe was reacting to. As I commented on Twitter: I think this is the ugliest development I've seen online.

It came out of nowhere and it came all at once, and when it came, there was no ignoring it, and certainly there was no denying it.

I was saying: It's as if, on the heels of last month's raacial shooting, someone gave the GO code: Now we show our hand.

What makes it really annoying is that the Social Race Warriors are using many tactics of the Social Justice Warriors -- swarming, attempting to pressure by dogpiling, argument-by-insult, etc.

It's like a Reeces Peanut Butter cup of awfulness. "You got your Social Justice Warrior mob tactics in my Racial Purity!"

It really is something. Expect to see some coverage of this by the liberal press in the coming days. They have made their presence known, for good or for ill.*


* I allow this may be "for good" because I've come to believe that debates, even ones involving ugly things, should not be covered up, but should actually be had out; so while some may fret that these people will discredit us, I look on the bright side: All things are made cleaner and healthier with sunlight.

A covert white supremacy movement is not, it seems to me, obviously better than an overt one.

Truth is better than falsehood, and a lie unconfronted is a lie encouraged to spread.

Corrected: I'm told that I'm simply wrong in my hunch about the Louisiana shooter being race-motivated so I've deleted a suggestion that he was so motivated.

Posted by Ace at 05:26 PM Comments

AoSHQ Podcast: Guest, Buck Dharma

—Andy

Buck Dharma of the legendary rock band Blue Oyster Cult joins Ace and John on this week's episode with lasers!

Intro: Don't Fear the Reaper - BOC
Outro: Godzilla - BOC

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Posted by Andy at 04:37 PM Comments

Jon Stewart's Only Black Writer Told Him He Was Uncomfortable With Stewart's "Black Guy" Impression; Racist Jon Stewart Told Him to "F*** Off," Angrily

—Ace

I kind of understand Stewart's reaction -- it is, in fact, annoying to be accused of bad motives (racism has in fact been defined as the worst possible motive in existence) over things that are, or at least seem, harmless, and without harmful intent.

On the other hand, this jackass is, like Seth Rogen, a reliable cheerleader for SJW attacks so long as they're directed at other people; only when such attacks are directed at themselves do they suddenly feel that maybe this censorship-by-contrived-hypersensitivity is stultifying, anti-creativity, anti-thought and ultimately anti-human.

But per the rules Jon Stewart inflicts on others: He's a g*d-damn racist.

In a recent episode of WTF With Marc Maron, former Daily Show writer Wyatt Cenac recalled a moment when host Jon Stewart exploded at him in front of the entire late night show's staff. It all pertained to Stewart’s imitation of 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain; an impersonation that just went too far for Cenac. At the time prior to the 2012 presidential election, Cenac was the only black writer and found Stewar'’s knock on Cain coming from "kind of an ignorant place."

Fox News was already on Stewart’s case over the offensive impression. In response, Stewart was planning a segment entitled "everything I do is racist." When Cenac heard this, he raised his objection over the whole bit in an email to the Daily Show staff.

...

When Cenac emphasized his reservations again during a writers meeting, Stewart blew his lid:

"He got incredibly defensive. I remember he was like, 'What are you trying to say? There’s a tone in your voice.' I was like, 'There’s no tone. It bothered me.' … And then he got upset. He stood up and he was just like, 'Fuck off. I'm done with you.' And he just started screaming that to me, and he screamed it a few times. ... '‘Fuck off! I'm done with you.' And he stormed out. I didn’t know if I had been fired," remembered Cenac.

Even when progressives aren't actively pushing for censorship, they at the very least claim that we must have a Dialogue about Important Matters of Race and put aside our own biases and assumptions -- for white people, I mean; we must set aside our White Privilege -- and really listen to oft-silenced voices and really try to understand how the world looks not through our own privileged white eyes, but through the eyes of a minority in a decidedly non-dominant social position.

And what happens when Jon Stewart, the Tribune of the Leftist Soul, Highest Avatar of Leftist Media Smart Power, gets precisely the chance to do just that, to put to practice what is so often preached?

Well, he yells at his only black writer with such vehemence that the man believes he might have just been fired. (I think he was off the show the following year.)

F*** you, Jon Stewart. You're a hypocrite, a liar, and -- by your own rules -- an unrepentant racist who not only won't check his privilege, but who uses his privilege to silence any black voices who dissent against you.


At the Federalist: I'm just starting to read this, but seems worth reading. (Corrected; I incorrectly attributed this to Sean Davis.)

Update: You can listen to Marc Maron's podcast here. I don't know the time code for this juicy bit. If someone finds it, let me know, so I can update.


Posted by Ace at 03:30 PM Comments



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