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July 23, 2014

Hey We Should Really Pass That Cornyn-Cuellar Compromise, STAT


One of the provisions of that was that children would either be granted asylum or scheduled for deportation within ten days.

That's supposed to signal that we're getting serious about border control.

But what if they just stocked the ranks of the judges with soft-touches on asylum? And just granted it to 90% of all who asked for it?

What a ridiculous right wing conspiracy theory, eh?

From February, when, unknown to most of us, the border situation was hitting crisis levels:

Judge who oversees juvenile immigration docket is replaced


A Dallas immigration judge known for tough enforcement is no longer handling cases involving minors.


Local immigration attorneys said the change could reduce tension and add flexibility to cases involving children and teenagers....

Calls to the two judges were referred to Kathryn Mattingly, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. She said they would not comment on the change but added her office "may shift docket assignments to best meet the needs of the agency."

The number of court cases involving adult and juvenile immigrants continues to increase in North Texas and other regions.

Oh, and you know that the kids in our custody are being assigned a hearing date, then being seeded out across America?

How many of them do you think show up for that hearing?

Well, here's some idea.

The youths were among 20 from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who were set to appear in federal immigration court Tuesday for initial deportation hearings. But they weren’t there -- 18 of the children whose cases were set to be heard didn't show up Tuesday for court.

It was an absentee rate that federal Immigration Judge Michael Baird said was "highly unusual," so high that he reset the hearings for Aug. 11 rather than possibly issuing a deportation order.

So 18 out of 20 didn't show up.

The judge (this is the one who replaced the other judge, by the way!) said it was likely the kids just didn't get notice of their hearing date, so it's probably the government's fault, and he'll just reschedule rather than issue a deportation order.

Yeah, I can see why open borders agitators like this guy better.

From @Allout1 (Dr. Spank).

Posted by Ace at 08:04 PM Comments

Dumb Media Gun Story of the Week


So, apparently we'll just have one of these embarrassments from this day forth.

So Beretta has announced plans to move its factory from gun-controlling Maryland to gun-rights-respecting Tennessee. This gives the gun-control people, and perhaps some Maryland legislatures, a case of the Bothers, and they've been looking to rake Beretta for embarrassing them since.

That's my speculation here: That they've been looking for any kind of reason to claim Beretta is terrible, just terrible, and they've seized upon a routine press release about a rifle as their vehicle of retribution.

I can't think of any other reason this ridiculous article got written.

Announcing the "unusually powerful" new Beretta rifle -- in the unusually powerful caliber of 5.56mm.

In addition, this guy needs you to know that Beretta describes people who might use this weapon as "tactical shooters," which is, he informs you, a term used "in video games:"

In common usage, "tactical shooter" is one of the descriptions of video game features.


I don't even know what the hell that sentence even means. "One of the descriptions of video game features"? What does this mean? What could this mean?

The statement is literally senseless. It's wrong-- sure. But even worse, I'm not sure it's wrong, because I have no earthly idea what this idiot intended to mean by this strange assortment of words.

As for this SuperWeapon being "unusually powerful:"

Beretta's press release makes no claims whatsoever about a 5.56mm rifle being "unusually powerful" -- probably because people would laugh at them if they did.

Instead, their press release calls out the gun for being "reliable" and "versatile." They also talk about the gun being "ambidextrous," which perhaps is a word whose meaning Yahoo's Finance Editor (or whatever he is) doesn't know.

Maybe he thinks it means "filled with crocodiles."

Anyway, there's a lot to laugh at here. I've barely scratched the surface.

I can't wait to read this guy's dispatches on finance. He seems to really know what he's talking about.

Thanks to @comradearthur.

Posted by Ace at 06:39 PM Comments

Hey, Remember That Teenager Who Left Home (Because Her Parents Didn't Approve Of Her Boyfriend) and Then Sued Her Parents for Upkeep and Allowance?


Well that's all working out about as well as you might have imagined.

Rachel Canning, the teenager who moved out of her parents' home and then sued them for support and college costs, has gotten a domestic violence temporary restraining order against her boyfriend -- the man her parents had wanted her to stop seeing.

She accuses the boyfriend of having choked her.

Posted by Ace at 06:13 PM Comments

Whoa: Democratic Senator John Walsh of Montana Plagiarized 25% of His 2007 War College Masters Thesis


You might not have known about this Senate race, which is my way of saying I didn't know about it, and I don't want to feel stupid about that, so I'm going to graciously forgive your not knowing about it.

Walsh was appointed Senator in Montana last month (Montana-- why do you elect Democratic governors? Are you stupid?) to replace Max Baucus.

The Democrats had been doing their usual Red State play -- put up a guy who talks conservative and has a conservative-seeming biography, who will then vote lockstep with Harry Reid.

They were hoping this Walsh would hold the seat he was appointed to, mentioning his military service (in the National Guard, but he served in Iraq) as a key qualification to the post.

You know -- Honor. Integrity. Military Values.

This will damage that storyline.

And this is the NYT, incidentally.

[O]ne of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh's 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh's master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors' works, with no attribution.

Here's the thing: we're not talking about a youthful indiscretion, here. He submitted this paper in 2007 -- when he was 46 years old.

Why, that's practically old enough to be kicked off his parents' insurance policy!

Most strikingly, each of the six recommendations Mr. Walsh laid out at the conclusion of his 14-page paper, titled "The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy," is taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic.

He also directly lifted two sentences from a Harvard paper by Sean M. Lynn-Jones.

Mr. Walsh does not footnote or cite Mr. Lynn-Jones’s essay, titled "Why the United States Should Spread Democracy," anywhere in his paper.

That's a problem, because not only did he not properly cite the source of the sentences, he did not even acknowledging reading the paper anywhere else in his paper. Which gives rise to a suspicion that he was trying to hide its provenance.

Walsh claims he didn't do anything wrong, at least not "intentionally."

Now, check out how his aides are pushing back against the story:

On Wednesday, a campaign aide.. said Mr. Walsh was going through a difficult period at the time he wrote the paper, noting that one of the members of his unit from Iraq had committed suicide in 2007, weeks before it was due.

The aide said Mr. Walsh, who served in Iraq from November 2004 to November 2005, "dealt with the experience of post-deployment," but acknowledged he had not sought treatment.





Thesis papers take a year to write. Sometimes they take multiple years.

You don't plagiarize one quarter (or more!) of the paper in a two week period where you have the Sadz.

The Times report is all worth reading. Near the end, they cite the War College's policy on plagiarism.

Spoiler: They're not only against it, they're really really against it.

And they specifically state that "forgetting" to cite another author -- their word precisely -- is a serious form of academic fraud.

By the way, here's how the unbiased reporter Blake Hounshell of the unbiased rag Politico chose to report the story:

Update/Correction: Someone Who Knows stuff says the War College offers a one-year masters, and no paper would take that full year to write.

Posted by Ace at 04:25 PM Comments

IRS Head John Koskinen Now Says... They've Found Some of those Old Email Back Up Tapes?


I wonder if these tapes will feature any "artifacts" which result in the loss of information.

If I'm reading this right, they haven't found the Lois Lerner backup tapes per se. What they've found is some old backup tapes, covering the time period of Lerner's "lost emails," which they thought they'd recycled.

They "recycle," or "destroy," I think is the better word, the tapes every six months. But I guess they didn't destroy these.

Or something.

They do not know however if these particular backup tapes contain anything relating to Lerner.*

But they're checking. They're checkin', real hard.

The head of the IRS confirmed Wednesday that investigators looking into missing emails from ex-agency official Lois Lerner have found and are reviewing "backup tapes" -- despite earlier IRS claims that the tapes had been recycled.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, testifying before a House oversight subcommittee, stressed that he does not know "how they found them" or "whether there's anything on them or not." But he said the inspector general's office advised him the investigators are reviewing tapes to see if they contain any "recoverable" material.

The revelation is significant because the IRS claimed, when the agency first told Congress about the missing emails, that backup tapes "no longer exist because they have been recycled."

It is unclear whether the tapes in IG custody contain any Lerner emails, but Koskinen said investigators are now checking.

Thanks to Tami.

* Other readers interpret this differently. They think the tapes are the "Lois Lerner backup tapes" (well, Lois Lerner, and everyone else at the IRS), and the IRS is saying they'll review the tapes to see if there are discoverable emails -- that is, emails they've decided were requested by Congress.

Of course, in adversarial situations, a party has a strong incentive to say "Having reviewed this material, I find nothing discoverable that I have to turn over to you."

They could also claim, conceivably, that communications with White House staff aren't "discoverable" as they would be covered by executive privilege.

I don't even want to think about this.

Posted by Ace at 02:50 PM Comments

The Independent (UK): Tear gas fired at ["Mostly Peaceful"] pro-Palestinians demonstrators in Paris


Everything except the brackets is in their headline -- the bracketed part comes from the article itself.

Riot police fired tear gas and fought running battles with pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Paris this afternoon after a banned protest march turned violent.

It just "turned" violent. Who can say who is responsible?

About 6,000 mostly peaceful protesters assembled in the Barbès area of northern Paris in defiance of a government ban. When the march was blocked by police lines after only 500 metres, a minority of young protesters started to hurl stones, bottles and sticks at the riot police.

Let's see what those mostly peaceful/minority of young protesters might look like in actual action:

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 01:56 PM Comments

Bad Polling News For Hillary: Less Than Half of Americans Say Hillary Clinton "Shares My Ability to Walk Under My Own Power"


Well okay they didn't say that, but that's probably just because the Skewed Poll never asked the question.

Here's what they did say:

That last question, "understands middle class problems," is where Democrats usually own the GOP.

Click the first link for more.

After having written that headline, I realized I've really worn the Walker joke out.

Thus, I am retiring the Walker joke. To mark the occasion with the appropriate amount of solemnity, I am including a video tribute to the joke, in the form of Lionel Ritchie's moodily reminiscent "Say You, Say Me."

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 12:46 PM Comments

Obama: Now I'm Not Bothering to Watch the News, Either


The guy who only learns about major stories from the news is now not bothering to watch the news?

Because he already knows it all?

All right sir.

Whatever you say, this week.

Mr. Obama told supporters [at a Democratic fundraiser] that he doesn’t watch the news because, “Whatever they’re reporting about, usually I know.”

That contrasts with the explanations that the president and his aides have given from scandals in the past few years ranging from long wait times and deaths at the VA, to the IRS targeting tea party groups, to the Fast and Furious gun-running operation, and the Department of Justice spying on news reporters.

At Hot Air (the first link), some video memories of All The Times Obama has claimed to have only learned of some major scandal he did from the news reports, just like you all.

President Barack "Smooth Chill" Obama

Huh? Like whatever, man.

Posted by Ace at 11:50 AM Comments

The Curious thing about the Scratched Hard Drive [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

The latest scraps from the IRS aren't much better than the first few courses we've been presented.

I'm not speaking as a current computer tech. Those days are long past, and now it's just a hobby. But I do have some relevant experience in all this.

I can only assume they are talking about one of the hard drive "platters" being scratched. This would be the actual disk or disks within a hard drive case. The pretty shiny disks you see here are the platters:

hard Drive.jpg

That tri-claw looking armature at the bottom of the platters is the read/write arm. Its heads hover close to the platters, but should never touch them.

Assuming there was a scratch, there are pretty much only two ways such a scratch could occur.

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 09:50 AM Comments

Wednesday Morning Open Thread


Sorry, too busy to put something together. Check back tomorrow.

Posted by BenK at 09:07 AM Comments

Top Headline Comments 7-23-14

—Gabriel Malor

Happy Wednesday.

Fake applicants are having no trouble signing up for Obamacare and its tax subsidies.

President Obama says he doesn't watch much news because he knows it all, y'know, except for all his scandals which he'd never heard anything about until he saw them on the news. What a tool.

CNN hastens to emphasize that Obama's bad favorability numbers aren't dropping.

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:50 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (7-22-2014)


Because of the laziness.

isairport obamacareappeal8894

ukrainetop_20140722_181507 color668-e6BMy.St.55.jpeg

ksc_m92_elite_beretta_box_wallpaper_hd-normal caesarsatcitrobindex

HT_Boston_Magazine_Tsarnaev_nt_130718_3x2_992 srLbORNEU2Y05O9J

garner23 beatlestree

auschwitz-selfie-story-top 23UP-cat-master675

reiner23f-2-web 823258882083600674

1406043349000-AP-Summer-Fruits-Vegetables 105S9W_003_R-Perspective_Black_8

clippersDR121113 dungy334

140721114530-monty-python-final-show-story-body dndorigindex

Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 10:04 PM Comments

AOSHQDD Primary Night: Georgia Senate Runoff

—Brandon Finnigan


Hello and welcome again to another addition of the Decision Desk.

The Georgia Senate primary is down to two: Purdue and Kingston. Kingston is favored in polling, but Perdue has a presumed edge out of Atlanta. We'll know who gets to roll over Nunn in a few short hours.
You can follow us along for interesting county results on twitter @AOSHQDD

And our live site is up and running at

As always, a big shout out to our numerous volunteers from the horde.

Posted by Brandon Finnigan at 09:39 PM Comments

Rob Reiner: I Really Love Acting, Because Actors Have No Responsibilities At All and Can Just Treat Their Jobs Like a Party!


Maybe it's true.

But maybe it's not a smart thing to say, for a director.

A director of actors, I mean.

Ask Bronx native Rob Reiner about climbing out of the director's chair and stepping in front of the lens, and the man who earned five Golden Globe nominations for acting on CBS's "All in the Family" sitcom offers a broad smile.

"I love acting; it's fun. I don't have any responsibilities," Reiner told the New York Daily News about his latest directorial effort....

"To me, acting is like a party. It's like a fun thing to do. You don't have to worry. You don't have to agonize about anything."

He then complained that Hollywood doesn't make movies about "real people" anymore, which is, of course, almost completely true.

"They make three types of movies, and if you don't make one of those three, you have to find independent financing: It's either big-action superhero tent-pole thing or it's an animated film or it's an R-rated, raunchy sex comedy," he lamented. "They don't make movies about real people."

Reiner's latest movie is about a romance between Michael Douglas and Dianne Keaton, because he wants to return to making "the kind of movies that the public just doesn't want to see."

Okay I made that up. But, you know.

Here's an interesting story.

A husband and wife had not been having sex much lately. The husband, to illustrate this, took to plotting his Sex Requests, Achieved Sex, and Sex Turn-Downs on an Excel spreadsheet, and presented it to his wife.

Over the course of the past 7 weeks, he'd asked for sex 27 times, and had been turned down 24. He had sex three times.

The wife presented this to some forum and it became fodder on Reddit.

Mollie Hemingway strikes out for the first time by taking the woman's position way too much, and her husband sells out the male race by telling her "You're right, I have thought about complaining about this or that, but I should just put that energy into improving myself," or words to that effect.

What a betrayal of Team Man.

Anyway, I won't go into what I think too much, as this is such a sensitive topic and everyone has fairly strong opinions on it.

I will say that I saw the Reddit people discussing this and I thought one made a pretty good point: The woman's position was that she was in a "busy period" and that sex just wasn't convenient.

However, for any working adults -- especially with children -- it will always be a busy period. Saying you can't have sex during a busy period is pretty much just saying you can't have sex except on vacation, one or two weeks a year. (And most vacations, involving travel, are themselves very physically tiring, and will themselves produce a lot of reasons why sex is not convenient.)

Sure, the guy's spreadsheet is a bit much, of course.

Posted by Ace at 06:55 PM Comments

Ways & Means Committee: We've Learned From Interviews that Lois Lerner's Hard Drive Was "Scratched," But Internal IRS IT Experts Thought The Data Was Recoverable


Seems big:

Despite early refusals to make available IT professionals who worked on Lois Lerner’s computer, Ways and Means Committee investigators have now learned from interviews that the hard drive of former IRS Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner was "scratched," but data was recoverable. In fact, in-house professionals at the IRS recommended the Agency seek outside assistance in recovering the data. That information conflicts with a July 18, 2014 court filing by the Agency, which stated the data on the hard drive was unrecoverable -- including multiple years' worth of missing emails.

"It is unbelievable that we cannot get a simple, straight answer from the IRS about this hard drive," said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI). "The Committee was told no data was recoverable and the physical drive was recycled and potentially shredded. To now learn that the hard drive was only scratched, yet the IRS refused to utilize outside experts to recover the data, raises more questions about potential criminal wrong doing at the IRS."

Earlier the Washington Post collected six questions from IT professionals they'd like to ask about this "crashed" hard drive.

Here are a few of those:

1.) What happened to the IRS’s IT asset managers who appear to have disappeared at a key juncture?

Ordering the destruction of a hard drive and documenting that process would be handled by trained, certified IT asset managers, according to IAITAM. But the group's records show that at least three IRS IT asset managers were shuffled out of their positions around the time of the May 2013 inspector general's report that detailed the agency’s targeting practices.

IAITAM said investigators need to "determine if these in-house IT asset managers were removed from the picture as the IRS email investigation heated up."

2.) Where is the documentation to prove that the IRS wiped or destroyed Lois Lerner’s hard drive?

So far, we only have the word of IRS officials. IAITAM said its standards call for clear proof and records of destruction when drives are wiped or eliminated."“Until that documentation is provided, the hard drives should be considered lost, not destroyed," Rembiesa said.

3.) Were the drives destroyed by an outside vendor or firm? If so, by who, and can they verify the destruction?

Hiring a specialized firm to destroy IT assets is not unusual for federal agencies, according to IAITAM. If the IRS used this method to destroy Lerner’s hard drive, there would be an additional layer of documentation to show that the action took place, the group said.


6.) Where are Lois Lerner’s Blackberry e-mails?

IAITAM said investigators need to determine whether the IRS’s Blackberry communications are secure and what is on the "enterprise server."

"It is difficult to imagine that none of the emails in question were done on a mobile basis," Rembiesa said. "If so, there may be a freestanding stream of email records that would not be impacted by the Lerner hard drive loss."

So now I have another question: How often is a hard drive found to have been physically scratched, and how often does this lead to a total, catastrophic full-disk lost of information?

Because it sure seems to me that a scratch would result in bad sectors -- parts of the disk which were no longer readable. But these bad sectors would be a tiny percentage of the whole drive.

Does the IRS not know this?

Have they never dealt with a "scratched" hard drive before?

Posted by Ace at 05:20 PM Comments

Defying Allies, Ignoring Ukraine Shoot-Down, France Does What Everyone Expected Them To Do and Pledges to Go Forward With Delivery of Advanced Amphibious Warship to Russia


France has no eternal allies, only eternal self-concerns.

President Francois Hollande won broad domestic applause on Tuesday for defying allies Britain and the United States by confirming plans to deliver a helicopter carrier to Russia, with one backer dismissing the objections as hypocritical.

Speaking on the eve of an EU meeting to discuss sanctions on Moscow over the downing of a civilian airliner over Ukraine, Hollande said late on Monday that a first Mistral warship would be handed over on schedule in October but a decision on a second would depend on Russia's attitude.

It was the clearest signal yet that Paris will go through with the controversial deal despite the Ukraine crisis and came only hours after British Prime Minister David Cameron said it would be "unthinkable" for his country to fulfil such an order.

The United States has also said it opposes the sale, which has exposed France to criticism that it is putting its own interests ahead of Western solidarity over Ukraine.

DrewM (who sent this article) makes this point:

Obama's claim in 2008 and again in 2012 was not that he had a radically different foreign policy (he claimed it was not radically different from the American mainstream), but that he was simply smarter, better at leveraging "soft power," and better at dealing with allies than anyone in the GOP (or anyone in the world, actually).

Apart from his determination to exit Iraq, he did not run on a claim that he would completely undo American foreign policy; just that his charisma, understanding, and intelligence would permit him to handle a mainstream foreign policy better.

Is there any evidence whatsoever of this being true?

Is there one single thing he's accomplished through his much-vaunted personal appeal?

Posted by Ace at 04:54 PM Comments

This Is So Awful That I Must Share


You know, what "multiculturalism" means, in actual practice, is that you don't just get to experience your own culture's dysfunctions and massive trove of shit art; you get to enjoy the dysfunctions and shit art of foreigners as well.

I came across this in a French newspaper which is ticking down the biggest Hits of the Summer for the last several decades in France.

So, the below was a huge hit. Per Wikipedia:

"Joe le taxi" (English: "Joe the Taxi Driver") is a French song written by Franck Langolff and Étienne Roda-Gil for French singer Vanessa Paradis. It was later included in her debut album, M&J, which was released in 1988.

It's nice that the singer is 14, but the writers aren't, and the song is horrible. It doesn't even seem like an actual song to me. I don't even hear a melody, nevermind a hook.

And yet it was at the top of the charts for 11 weeks in France -- and, inexplicably, for three in England.

Anyway, this is just so terrible, I think you need to watch it.

Top of the charts. Not "on the charts." Topped them. Runaway summer smash.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 04:10 PM Comments

Beretta Moving Its Entire Maryland Gun Factory to More Hospitable State of Tennessee


Beretta's press release is interesting.

Beretta USA Announces Decision to Move Its Entire Maryland Manufacturing Capabilities to Tennessee

Beretta U.S.A. Corp., located in Accokeek, Maryland, announced today that it has decided to move its manufacturing capabilities from its existing location to a new production facility that it is building in Gallatin, Tennessee. The Gallatin facility is scheduled to be opened in mid-2015. Beretta U.S.A. had previously planned to use the new Gallatin, Tennessee facility for new machinery and production of new products only.

"During the legislative session in Maryland that resulted in passage of the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, the version of the statute that passed the Maryland Senate would have prohibited Beretta U.S.A. from being able to manufacture, store or even import into the State products that we sell to customers throughout the United States and around the world. While we were able in the Maryland House of Delegates to reverse some of those obstructive provisions, the possibility that such restrictions might be reinstated in the future leaves us very worried about the wisdom of maintaining a firearm manufacturing factory in the State," stated Jeff Cooper, General Manager for Beretta U.S.A. Corp.

"While we had originally planned to use the Tennessee facility for new equipment and for production of new product lines only, we have decided that it is more prudent from the point of view of our future welfare to move the Maryland production lines in their entirety to the new Tennessee facility," Cooper added.

Interesting, I think, that Beretta did get the Maryland state government to back down -- but then decided it did not feel like being routinely threatened by an overweening and hostile local government.

Maybe a bit of bad timing to announce this a year before the move -- doesn't Maryland have an incentive to punish them now?

Posted by Ace at 03:36 PM Comments

Pundit: Hillary Is "Finished" as a Political Candidate


Lemme just put up a quick one. This seems pretty provocative. Worth thinking about, anyway, I guess.

This guy doubts Hillary will run at all, and says she can't win even if she does.

By Robert W. Merry

Hillary Clinton isn’t likely ever to become president of the United States. In fact, there is a greater possibility than is generally recognized by the Washington cognoscenti that she won’t even run. If she does, though, the barriers she faces will prove overwhelming. Her 2008 campaign was her last good shot for the office, and she failed. Since then, numerous developments have conspired steadily to diminish her prospects. Those prospects are now near zero.


The country is at an inflection point brought on by its crisis of political deadlock. It desperately needs a new brand of politics that can break the deadlock and set it upon a new course toward its future and destiny....

If so, Mrs. Clinton isn’t going to be able to withstand these winds of change. Her recent autobiography betrays a politician seemingly devoid of fresh thinking or even a recognition of what kind of political message is required by the temper of our times. In some eras of our political past, this wouldn’t have been a handicap. In today’s political climate, it is likely to be fatal.


And so it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that for 2016, Hillary’s handicaps are insurmountable. [T]here is a greater likelihood than is generally recognized that she will vacate the field before the battle begins.

Eh, I love quoting all that, but I believe none of it.

Merry's reasons for claiming Hillary cannot win -- that we are in a "transitional" period in politics, and Hillary is too hidebound to establishment, "old" thinking -- is maybe something to consider, but it's merely a prediction based on speculation about a hypothesis. We are pretty far, in this statement, from anything tangible.

Furthermore, it is very possible that both the Democrat and GOP nominee will be bound by "old" style thinking.

The GOP candidate will be so pegged whether he aligns with the Establishment or the Tea Party. If the Establishment, well, that's clearly business-as-usual, same as Bush.

If the Tea Party, well, that's bringing us back to the old-style thinking of the 1920s -- same as Calvin Coolidge.

In no election, ever, will the media ever permit anyone but a Democrat to carry the mantle (by the way, how the hell do you carry or wear a mantle? seems pretty heavy) of the future-seeking nominee.

As for Hillary not running at all: The woman is nothing if not -- to say something nice --tenacious, and -- to say something not terribly nice -- ambitious, zealous for the cause of Women Just Like Her, and scheming.

Unless Hillary is in dire health, or suffers from a catastrophic Walker Mishap that renders her unable to run, I just can't see this woman not running.

This is her lifelong singular ambition. She's done very little else except but to position herself to become President. In most cases, her positioning was successful (in as much as each of her schemes did in fact bring her within sniffing distance of the Oval Office).

Now she's on the verge. She will almost certainly beat any comer in the Democratic primary-- which makes the possibility of her becoming president a coin-flip, fifty/fifty.

Better than fifty-fifty, actually, given the nation's unwelcome Preference Cascade in support of big government and socialistic policies. Something like 55/45.

How on earth could anyone not throw her hat in the ring when she's that close -- a 55/45 coin flip in her advantage -- to achieving her lifelong dream?

And she is very, very, extremely old, so when I say "lifelong," I'm talking about decades and decades and old and brokedown and the growing infirmity of the elder mind.

Mantle: Okay, I kinda figured that "mantle" must also mean some piece of clothing or badge of office.

In fact, the first definition is some kind of sleeveless cloak, often worn by bishops.

The "fireplace" definition is definition 14.

Engineering the Perfect Candidate:

Posted by Ace at 02:33 PM Comments

Washington Post Sends Passionately Pro-Palestinian Intern to Cover Small Palestinian Protest at Israel's US Embassy


"Hundreds of peaceful protesters," the Washington Post story began.

The picture that runs with the story gives no hint at all of "hundreds" of protesters -- I suppose it might just be the camera angle they chose (choosing to focus on a Code Pink prop), but I'm thinking the correct word here is "dozens."

The story went on to quote one Noura Erakat:

"The U.S. is the primary patron of Israel and provides unequivocal diplomatic and military support," said Noura Erakat, a Palestinian lawyer and professor at George Mason University. "It's a complicit third party in what amounts to a massacre of the Palestinian population entrapped within the Gaza strip."

Check the link to see what this Washington Post intern forgot to tell you about Noura Erakat.

Well, it turns out the intern (who cowrote the story with another person) is a stridently anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian activist.

Gateway Pundit now reports that the Washington Post has issued an apology, of sorts:

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Post covered a protest outside the State Department on July 20 against U.S. policy in the Middle East and Israel’s actions in Gaza. One reporter sent to cover the protest, Britain Eakin, is an intern who has written opinion pieces elsewhere that sharply criticize Israel in the conflict. The Post should not have sent her to cover the protest and, had it known of her writings, would not have done so.

Emphasis added.

I have several questions here. First, if this is standard newspaper practice, shouldn't this Eakin have known that?

Second, it certainly does not seem to be standard newspaper practice to keep partisans on an issue from reporting on it. Sandra Kliff, for example, was a huge partisan for abortion rights, and yet the Post kept her on that beat.

So it seems like Eakin is being punished for being caught red-handed in breaking a "rule" that the overwhelmingly-Democrat-partisan media doesn't actually enforce.

Rather than taking satisfaction that a single, minor intern is being pulled off the beat, isn't the more useful course to press the media to implement this rule more broadly?

Of course, if reporters were to exclude themselves from reporting on any issue they had a strong political interest in -- that's that for the media, huh?

Posted by Ace at 01:30 PM Comments

Annndddd...Now The 4th Circuit Court Of Appeals Upholds IRS ObamaCare Rule That DC Court Struck Down This Morning


Gotta try and keep up.

Unlike the DC circuit the 4th circuit is all about "context", the plain meaning of words be damned.

This sheds some light on why the administration is going to seek an en banc hearing at the stacked DC circuit. One thing the Supreme Court takes into consideration when deciding to take cases is whether or not there's a split in how various circuits are treating an issue. Right now there's a split but if they go en banc at the DC circuit and the heavily Democratic full court overturns the panel's decision that eliminates the split and could give SCOTUS an out on taking this issue on.

Four justices have to vote in favor of hearing a case before the Supreme Court will hear it. You'd think the four dissenters in the National Federation of Independent Businesses case would vote to have another go at it or they (read here. "Anthony Kennedy") might take the out and avoid having to go down the path of throwing out ObamaCare now that it's been implemented.

*Note to clear something up people are confused about in the comments...these cases were filed, argued, and decided independently. It's just a coincidence the decisions were released within hours of one another.

Posted by DrewM. at 12:42 PM Comments

Court Of Appeals Throws Out ObamaCare Subsidies On Federal Exchange



Consider this a place holder until Gabe comes along to do a happy dance and break it all down.

(Background on the case here)

So basically anyone who gets their ObamaCare on the federal exchange, which is a lot if not most, can't get subsidies. This would be a death blow to ObamaCare.

This will no doubt be appealed either to the full Court of Appeals, which Obama has packed with his appointees or directly to the Supreme Court.

Either way, John Roberts just threw up in his mouth a little bit.

Basically what happened here is the law says subsidies can only be paid to policies written on state exchanges. Obama then rewrote the law to include the federal exchange because...he wanted to.

This became a big deal when the states didn't create exchanges or they imploded due to poor implementation and more people were forced on to the federal exchange than anticipated.

Liberals maintain the omission of subsidies on the federal exchange was simply a drafting error. Opponents maintained it was a deliberate choice in order to provide incentives for states to create their own exchanges. Either way, the appeals court ruled today that law says what it says (subsidies for state exchanges only) and not what Obama's IRS says it says.

Added: Administration will go for the en banc review before the stacked full court.

Posted by DrewM. at 10:23 AM Comments

Tuesday Morning News Dump


Follow me on twitter. Look, I'ma be straight with you. CAC is gaining on me. He can't have more followers that me. He just can't. It would be embarrassing. Follow me on twitter. It's for a good cause. If you don't want to follow me, fine. You are always welcome to unfollow CAC.

Posted by BenK at 09:06 AM Comments

Top Headline Comments (7-22-2014)


One can only imagine what fresh embarrassment today may bring from the least competent administration in the history of government. I can hardly wait.

But while we do, this tweet by some EPA employee goofing off on your dime can stand in as a metaphor.

Posted by Andy at 06:59 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (7-21-2014)


Quote of the Day

"The bear is loose!" President Obama has been saying, whenever he leaves the White House to visit Starbucks, or sandwich shops, or burger joints, or BBQ shacks, or neighborhood diners, in his increasingly rote and pathetic attempts to "connect" with "real people." Obama, we have been told, is frustrated, "restless," bored with the responsibilities and chores of office. He thinks of himself as the bear-intimidating, wild, untamed, roving-escaping his den. But he is flattering himself. Obama is not the bear. He is the cub: aimless, naive, self-interested, self-indulgent, irresponsible, irresolute. The bear is in Moscow.

-- Matthew Continetti

Quote of the Day II

We might as well replace the civil service with the spoils system. Because right now, we've just got a one-party spoils system.

-- Glenn Reynolds

The Reverse Passover

After 2000 years there are no more Christians in Mosul, Iraq.

In a sort of reverse Passover, ISIS activists have marked the homes of Christians with the letter N for "Nassarah," an Islamic term for Christian, to identify the homes whose inhabitants were to be slaughtered.


In Mosul, ISIS has decreed that Christians must convert to Islam, acknowledge their status as dhimmis and pay the Jizyah tax, or be beheaded. This shouldn't be surprising; it is nothing more than what the Koran prescribes. To their credit, Mosul's Christians have mostly left their homes behind and fled toward Kurdish-controlled areas where they believe they will be safe.

Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 10:46 PM Comments

WSJ Op-Ed: Hey, Conservatives, Stop Beating Up on Crony Capitalism



He actually, out of his own mouth, seems to equate "big business" with "crony capitalism."

I guess we're not debating the terminology any longer.

Amid the fight for the soul of the Republican Party, some elements of the GOP coalition have become overtly hostile to Big Business.

Defeating crony capitalism has become the battle cry of libertarian conservatives.

The Export-Import Bank has become the latest in a long line of targets that include highway funding, terrorism risk insurance and "too big to fail" banks.

Big Business wants immigration reform and higher academic standards for elementary and secondary schools--policy priorities that drive the hard right into conniptions.


What would happen if Big Business decided to change sides? What would happen if the Chamber of Commerce suddenly stopped being a huge fundraising machine for the Republican Party and started financing pro-business Democrats?

Ah, so it's hardball, then.

Well here's another question, then: What if the GOP began pushing a business tax break for small and mid-sized business to be paid for by a tax increase on big business?

So long as we're talking about Things We Each Could Do.

Posted by Ace at 07:42 PM Comments

Afternoon Cute


Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 06:16 PM Comments

Netroots Goofs Discuss Why People on the Left Aren't Funny


Well, actually they claim that people on the left are super-funny, but maybe there's been some problem getting that message out.

People on the right, they avow, are only perceived as "funny" because they make racist jokes.

"The Left is supposed to be funnier than the Right, damn it," the panel description stated. "So why do we so often sound in public like we’re stiltedly reading from a non-profit grant proposal?"

This defensive tone was apparent throughout the hour-plus session, brought up repeatedly by speakers and audience members. Much like a co-worker who doesn’t get anyone's jokes but insists, "I have a great sense of humor!"


"Comedy creates oneness and that is what our side wants," according to Julianna Forlano, host of a news parody without laughter cues called "Absurdity Today."

Absurdity Today -- well, that title alone tells me to tune in for some top-drawer comedy entertainment.

I'm also pretty sure that the best New York and LA comedians talk a lot about creating "a oneness."

She noted how her stand-up performance even created "oneness" at a Pennsylvania Elks Lodge, despite the crowd being filled with racist men (she could tell they were racist from the animal heads displayed on the walls).

Katie Halper agreed with her fellow white comic that racism is endemic in their industry. "When the right says we have no sense of humor, it's a great way for racist/sexist/homophobic men to make themselves seem funny." Halper is a founding principal of Qualified Laughter, a production company "dedicated to comedic social justice media."

Qualified Laughter -- why that sounds like another laugh riot.

Jon Gabriel's piece is worth a read. He notes that the first African-American female member of SNL's cast in a long, long time got in hot water with black critics for making irreverent jokes about slavery.

You can check Jon's link for that, but the basic joke was that she was complaining that only beautiful women are praised, whereas truly "useful" ones like herself -- six feet tall and ready to brawl -- don't get the proper level of praise for their "usefulness" (such as in a back-alley barfight).

She then went on a riff about how, during slavery, she would definitely be valued for her usefulness, and in fact would be assigned to marry the "hottest" male slaves available.

Now, I didn't think this was very funny. Not due to outrage; it was just unfunny in the same way many SNL bits are unfunny, to wit, they just aren't funny.

But offensive?

So this in a nutshell is why the left can't be funny. What this comic was doing was a standard, basic, 101-level comedy trope: mining laughs by treating serious circumstances irreverently. She was hoping for laughs by talking up, strangely, the "good side" of slavery, at least for women like herself, who are more "useful" than beautiful.

And part of what she was doing was playing a character: The character who is so dumb she doesn't realize that slavery would have a lot of downsides that would greatly outweigh any hypothetical impact on her dating options.

But of course this woman knows that. Duh! The whole joke is based on upon her knowledge that the audience will find her statements funny (or, at least, unexpected and incongruous) because of how obviously wrongheaded they are.

She knows it's wrong to talk about slavery as having an Upside. The entire joke hinges on this knowledge being so widely known and deeply felt so as to create a sense of incongruity and absurdity as she goes off on her riff.

And yet her humorless prog critics had to inform her: You know, despite your claims to the contrary, slavery was not a good deal for single women or any other sort of women. *


I didn't think her jokes were that good. But the fact that she had to publicly answer her very public critics about their absurd claims that she was actually suggesting to people that maybe slavery is kinda like a feel-good romantic comedy demonstrates why the political left is so rarely funny.

It's because many jokes -- not all jokes, but a bit chunk of them, like 40% -- rely on establishing a tension between what the comedian and audience knows is true, and what the comedian is actually saying.

Treating something serious in an irreverent way.

Yes, the comic knows what she's talking about is a Serious Matter. When Sarah Silverman used to tell her rape joke -- that she'd been raped by a doctor, which, she said, for a Jewish girl, is bittersweet -- Sarah Silverman obviously knows that rape is a very serious and horrible thing which should not be joked about.

Which is precisely why she is joking about it. Because the forbidden spaces are often where you find the new and unexpected things.

But anyway, the left has a tremendous number of sacred cows. Every little feel and bother they have, they believe to be Very Serious Indeed, and thus exclude from the realm of joking about 90% of the subjects in the human experience.

Of course, another huge trope of joking is the provocatively cynical statement -- stating, hyperbolically, something dark about human motivations.

And progressive thugs can't bear any joking on that score either, because what they're sure about, more than anything else in the world, is the absolute metaphysical purity of their motives in all their behaviors and demands of their fellow citizens.

And joking about that isn't funny. Indeed, it's heretical and blood libel.

* Actually it occurs to me that this is an important part of progressive priggishness. Whereas I would assume that of course the audience of SNL understands that Slavery is Bad, the psychologically-driven progressive activists feel an intense need to feel superior to other people, and therefore posit, ludicrously, that a significant fraction of SNL's audience might actually think that Slavery Wasn't So Bad and may think this woman is actually making Good Points about the upside of slavery.

They have to flatter themselves by thinking they're smarter than everyone else, but as they're not particularly smart, they have to conceive as the majority of people as being absolutely stupid, at nearly-handicapped levels.

So, yeah, for this sort of "progressive" who is chiefly into the "politics" of the progressive movement as a way to process his own mediocrity (or submediocrity) -- I can see the absolute necessity of constantly postulating that upwards of 60% of the country is borderline mentally retarded and in need of guidance from the 92 IQ All-Stars of the Progressive Left.

By the Way, SNL: Stop having your new cast members come on Weekend Update to do three minutes of their stand-up comedy act by way of introduction.

It's never funny. And I do mean "never."

I think John Mulaney is very funny in his standup act, but when they had him do the same standup bit on Weekend Update, I stared at it stone-faced.

Theoretically I should at least have smiled in recognition, but I didn't.

It's just not the place for it. It's not the format of the show. When a comic comes on and just does three minutes of her act, the audience immediately realizes "Hey, this isn't the SNL format" and wonders, subconsciously, why they're breaking format for this lame bit.

And the reason is -- and I think most people get this -- is that they are trying to prove their new recruit is funny.

So it seems forced and strained, like we're supposed to laugh at the New Girl just because it's her First Week.

But we don't.

So just stop this whole practice entirely. If someone wants to get on the show, they should be bringing new material, and material that fits the SNL format, not barely-rewritten stand-up riffs.

I would also ask that this material be funny, but that is quite far out of reach for anyone on SNL these days.

Posted by Ace at 04:37 PM Comments

IRS Lawyer: Hey, Sorry, But Maybe More Computers of People Who Corresponded with Lois Lerner Crashed, Too; Don't Worry Though, the Number of Crashes Is Less Than Twenty (or So)


See, originally, the IRS said that they didn't bother informing Congress that Lois Lerner's hard drive had crashed and her emails lost because they thought they could still recover those emails from other people's hard drives -- the people she corresponded and coordinated with.

The IRS didn't want Congress to get "the wrong idea," they said. They didn't want Congress to go off half-cocked, thinking there was some kind of kooky conspiracy to destroy evidence.

Well. Now they've looked into her correspondents' hard drives to see if the emails could be recovered from them, and whoops, up to 20 additional hard drives may have crashed, a bunch involving people Lerner was known to interact with.

So that's it, then, huh?

Also: Another IRS guy is claiming that maybe Lois Lerner's emails weren't lost; maybe those back-up tapes still exist.

They say they'll look into it.

Look into it, future tense.


It always seems like the IRS claims there is some possible avenue to getting these emails, before later saying, "nope, that was all destroyed too."

Posted by Ace at 03:09 PM Comments

Obama's Oddly Reassuring Statement to Putin


I found Obama's statement strange for how far it went out of its way to reassure Putin that no consequences will follow should he continue attacking the Ukraine (and blowing the occasional airliner out of the sky).

A President does not wish to make it impossible for an aggressive, brutish leader to back down. Brutes are shame-based creatures, and full of machismo. So no president should ever make statements which will activate the Lizard Machismo Complex of the brute's brain, and thus make it impossible for him to back down.

Well, on that score, Mission Accomplished. Obama sure didn't threaten Putin at all.

At all.

But it seems to me he went out of his way to let Putin know that Putin could get away with anything he wants.

First, Obama said:

"My preference continues to be finding a diplomatic resolution within Ukraine--I believe that can still happen, that is my preference today and it will continue to be my preference..."

Why swear, from this day until the end of days, that this will continue to be his preference? Why not leave it at "this is currently my preference?"

Putting it that way leaves open the possibility that that preference could change, without actually making any kind of threat that would activate Putin's You Can't Boss Me Around response.

Instead, Obama broadcasts that he will never seek anything other than a diplomatic solution "within Ukraine," no matter what Putin does.

This is a gratuitous reassurance to Putin. Yes, I agree that the President shouldn't bluster and make empty threats against a brute armed with nuclear missiles, but neither does he have to get on his back and show his belly like a defeated dog.

Then Obama got the part of his statement that seemed like a threat -- but wasn't:

"But if Russia continues to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and to back these separatists, and these separatists become more and more dangerous and now are risks not simply to the people inside of Ukraine, but the broader international community, then Russia will only further isolate itself from the international community and the costs for Russia's behavior will only continue to increase.

Russia will "isolate itself." America will not actively isolate Russia -- no, it will just happen (Obama hopes). The EU will not slap sanctions on Russia -- no, the "isolation" will just naturally proceed along (Obama prays).

Obama here is basically talking about Hoping for a Miracle from God, rather than sketching steps that we ourselves might undertake.

Tyrants don't care about what things an American president prays will happen.

They worry about things an American president will make happen.

Now, I already said that I don't think Obama should make direct threats. But this statement is so weak, so fearful of itself, it can't even state a vaguery in a straightforward manner.

Even the vaguery must be couched in the passive voice.

Even Obama's gauze comes shrouded by haze.

Combining those statements together, I can't see how anyone in the Kremlin could fail to read this as an American greenlight for just about anything Russia wishes to do.

And that makes me wonder why this statement was given at all -- if Obama had chosen to remain silent, at least there would have been mystery about his possible responses and current line of thinking.

Instead he went out there to tell Putin not to sweat it, that the US would not do a damned thing, ever.

That said, Russia has promised -- supposedly -- to grant inspectors "unfettered access" to the crash site, and an hour or so ago they promised that the separatists would turn over the plane's black boxes (probably after ascertaining there was no evidence on them directly suggesting Russian involvement).

Posted by Ace at 01:55 PM Comments

Washington Post: Obama Administration Had Prior Warnings of Coming Border Crisis


Of course.

In 2013, researchers at the border warned of a coming deluge.

The researchers' observations were among the warning signs conveyed to the Obama administration over the past two years as a surge of Central American minors has crossed into south Texas illegally. More than 57,000 have entered the United States this year, swamping federal resources and catching the government unprepared.

The administration did too little to heed those warnings, according to interviews with former government officials, outside experts and immigrant advocates, leading to an inadequate response that contributed to this summer's escalating crisis.

Federal officials viewed the situation as a "local problem," said Victor Manjarrez Jr., a former Border Patrol station chief who led the UTEP study. The research, conducted last year, was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and published in March. A broader crisis was "not on anyone’s radar," Manjarrez added, even though "it was pretty clear this number of kids was going to be the new baseline."

Meanwhile, Rick Perry himself had been writing letters to Obama warning him of the growing problem.

And of course Rick Perry has ordered 1000 National Guardsmen to the border.

Posted by Ace at 12:32 PM Comments

Obama to Offer Half-Hearted Statement on Ukraine
"What Are They Trying to Hide?"


Of course he was supposed to begin the statement twenty-five minutes ago.

FoxNews' live video feed ishere.

Discussing the separatists' interference with investigators and removal of bodies, Obama asks "What are they trying to hide?"

Obama made a series of things intended to sound like demands -- that Russia order the separatists to stand down and let investigators do their job -- but then offered no consequences in the event of Putin's continued defiance.

The only thing he offered that could sound like a consequence is that "Russia will continue to isolate itself from the international community" -- note the way that's phrased, where it's Russia -- not the US, Europe, or "international community" itself -- that's doing the isolating.

A passive construction from a passive president.

Posted by Ace at 11:12 AM Comments

Report: Rick Perry To Send National Guard To The Border


Well, well, someone has come a long way from "you don't have a heart".

Perry will announce his plans Monday to mobilize some 1,000 guardsmen to the Rio Grande Valley to increase security at the border, according to the Monitor, a south Texas newspaper. The newspaper quoted a state senator and an internal memo it obtained from a state official’s office.


“If the federal government does not do its constitutional duty to secure the Southern border of the United States, the state of Texas will do it,” Perry said Sunday at a Republican barbecue in Iowa.


Perry, who has been asking Obama to make the call, recently told Fox News Sunday that mobilizing the troops now is important “because this flood of children is pulling away the border patrol from their normal duties of keeping bad people, keeping the drug cartels, they’re being distracted, so that I would suggest is a very obvious reason that those National Guard troops should come play an important role.”

It's funny how fast the GOP has gone from trying to figure out how to cram amnesty down voter's throats to full on border security. Of course, they will snap right back the other way as soon as it's safe to do so.

Speaking of amnesty, be sure to listen to this week's podcast. Our guest is the only many who thinks less of the GOP on immigration than I do, Mickey Kaus.

Posted by DrewM. at 10:36 AM Comments

Top Headline Comments (7-21-2014)


Here's to forgetting I told Gabe I'd cover for him this morning.

Posted by Andy at 07:32 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (7-20-2014)


Quote of the Day

From the dawn of the modern age, religious thinkers have warned that, strictly speaking, secular politics is impossible - that without the transcendent foundation of Judeo-Christian monotheism to limit the political sphere, ostensibly secular citizens would begin to invest political ideas and ideologies with transcendent, theological meaning.

Put somewhat differently: Human beings will be religious one way or another. Either they will be religious about religious things, or they will be religious about political things.

With traditional faith in rapid retreat over the past decade, liberals have begun to grow increasingly religious about their own liberalism, which they are treating as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good.

What Leadership Looks Like

Here is Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaking on the shoot-down of flight MH17 and killing of 289 passengers by Russian-backed rebels.

And then you have Ronald Reagan's classic (and epic) response to the Soviets' shoot-down of KAL 007 in 1983.

But all we get is more mush from the wimp.

Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 11:00 PM Comments

Spaced-Out Challenge: One Giant Leap

—Brandon Finnigan

Note: the Open Overnight Thread is below. Please direct off-topic convos to it. Enjoy!


Welcome again to the Spaced-Out Challenge! Whether you have a question about equipment, a new astronomical discovery you want to expand on, or just want to kick back and enjoy the cosmos above, come one come all on our weekly astronomical journey.

This week, we remember the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, show off some of twitter's finest astrophotography, invite you to a star party, and enjoy a Christmas-in-July sight in Sagittarius.

Continue reading

Posted by Brandon Finnigan at 10:05 PM Comments

Sunday Evening Open Thread [CBD]

—Open Blogger


Posted by Open Blogger at 09:15 PM Comments

Still On The Hunt: Sharyl Attkisson - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

Sharyl Attkisson may not be working for a network but don't be fooled into thinking she's stopped working. She's now free to investigate and to write about what pleases her and has been tweeting about those stories.

Last evening, she tweeted this:

(Click in tweet for links to the stories)

The news of fresh Obama scandals and failures occur at such a rapid pace that it's easy for important news to fall by the wayside as the networks move on to the fresh, shiny squirrel. Here she offers continued coverage of some of the stories that others have walked away from: the VA Scandal, Military Injustice, Benghazi, etc, ....

I cannot wait for her book to be released. I've never before pre-ordered a book but did so here, on the first day she announced it, back in early March. It's gonna be a barn burner.

Open thread.

Posted by Open Blogger at 05:35 PM Comments

The AoSHQ Amazon Store

Top Headlines
IRS has 'no excuses' for latest twist in e-mail saga, says IT expert, said 'expert' being, well, me. Also, be sure to read krakatoa's excellent rundown below as to what a 'scratched hard drive' really means. If that post had been up a bit sooner, I would have simply passed the link on to Fox News (and did so after the fact). [Fritzworth]
Deep Oceans have been cooling for the last 20 years.
The hidden heat is REALLY well hidden!
Could it be... Reverse Volcanos?

Jim Geraghty: Our Sudden De Facto Travel Ban on Israel
"We’ve just told Hamas that we’ll stop our flights into Israel whenever they hit near the airport." [rdbrewer]

Video: Last night's Special Report All Star Panel on ISIS persecution of Christians in Iraq
Watch the whole thing. [rdbrewer]

Sean Davis: No, Halbig Did Not Gut Obamacare Because Of A 'Drafting Error'
"[I]f the law’s authors originally intended to constrain subsidies to state plans, what was the rationale for the IRS about-face in 2011? That’s actually an easy one to answer: the administration never imagined that so many states would refuse to establish Obamacare exchanges. The subsidies for state exchange plans were meant to be pot sweeteners—incentives for states to set up their own exchanges." [rdbrewer]

Mitchell: Obama’s Fundraising Trips Are Being Questioned for Good Reason
"'This is the optics of leadership,' she said. 'The golf course is not the best place to be, even though you don’t really see him out there. But the fundraising, those trips really are being questioned for a good reason.'" [rdbrewer]

Ditch Mitch?
"Who was ultimately responsible for the evil Mississippi primary campaign that smeared supporters of Chris McDaniel as racists? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, that’s who." [rdbrewer]

David Ignatius, WaPo: How to break Hamas’s stranglehold on Gaza
"Hamas’s biggest weakness of all is its unpopularity among Palestinians in Gaza now. A poll taken in June, before the latest fighting began, showed that 70 percent of Gazans wanted a continuing cease-fire with Israel; 57 percent wanted a Fatah-Hamas unity government to renounce violence against Israel...." [rdbrewer]

Josh Kraushaar: The Odds of a GOP Wave Are Increasing
"This week, Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg released new data showing Obama's disapproval at a whopping 60 percent in 12 Senate battlegrounds, with half strongly disapproving of his performance. Overall, Republicans held a 2-point edge on the battleground generic ballot, 46 percent to 44 percent. Those are the numbers that foreshadow wave elections." [rdbrewer]

Page Six: David Gregory’s time on ‘Meet the Press’ is almost up
I guess being an unprofessional partisan hack didn't work out. Funny quote: "Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have also been said be angling for a Sunday slot, but NBC insiders said there are concerns about putting a partisan host in charge of 'Meet the Press,' as Scarborough is a former Republican congressman." You see, Scarborough is partisan, unlike Gregory. How about Chuck Todd? [rdbrewer]

A.J. Delgado: It’s Time for Conservatives to Stop Defending Police
"Imagine if I were to tell you there is a large group of government employees, with generous salaries and ridiculously cushy retirement pensions covered by the taxpayer, who enjoy incredible job security and are rarely held accountable even for activities that would almost certainly earn the rest of us prison time. When there is proven misconduct, these government employees are merely reassigned and are rarely dismissed." Related: See the next headline. [rdbrewer]
Jonathan Turley: San Diego Police Sued Over Stripper 'Inspections' At Two Clubs
"Some 10 officers swarmed the club and forced the women to stand nearly nude while they allegedly took their pictures and made crude remarks. The officers reportedly ordered some women to lift what little clothing they had on to check for tattoos." Assholes abusing their authority. They should be fired, of course, but that won't happen. [rdbrewer]
Blog Claims to Have Details of Plot (Well, the Opening At Least) of Star Wars 7
I guess I should say "spoilers" but 1, it's probably not true and 2, who cares?
Again: UN Inspectors Find More Hamas Rockets at Another Gaza SchoolI'm starting to think these Palestinians just sort of hide weapons in civilian centers as a general tactic or something
Via Hot Air, People Who Are Afraid of Spiders Probably Just Haven't Seen This Giant Saw-Toothed Dragonfly Yet

The Week: Man builds 'biggest fart machine ever,' plans to aim it at France
"Furze plans to aim his fart cannon at France from Dover, England... and he plans to build a giant butt to house the fart machine." Rock on, great man. [rdbrewer]

Times of Israel: For second time, rockets found at UN school in Gaza
"'Today, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip,' the organization said in a statement issued Tuesday." [rdbrewer]
EJP: EU strongly condemns indiscriminate Hamas rockets on Israel and use of Palestinian population as human shields, ‘terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm’, calls for ‘immediate ceasefire’
28 foreign ministers in Brussels. "The EU called on Hamas 'to immediately put an end to these acts and to renounce violence' and said 'all terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm.'" [rdbrewer]

Information Junkie Alert!
Wikipedia's entry on the photophone. Light was first used for communication in 1880. It was also the first wireless communication. Alexander Graham Bell considered it his greatest invention. Pure information fix for that information jones. [rdbrewer]

How To Send Email Without Leaving Any Data Traces
"A new service called ShazzleMail eliminates metadata by delivering the email directly from your computer or smartphone to the recipient." [rdbrewer]

Joel Gehrke: Obama’s Law Professor: ‘I Wouldn’t Bet’ on Obamacare Surviving Next Legal Challenge
From ten days ago. "President Obama’s old Harvard Law professor, Laurence Tribe, said that he 'wouldn’t bet the family farm' on Obamacare’s surviving the legal challenges to an IRS rule about who is eligible for subsidies...." [rdbrewer]

WashPost Admits It 'Should Not Have Sent' Fiercely Anti-Israel Intern to Cover Protest
"The Post now admits this was a mistake, and that it wasn't aware she was trashing Israel in fierce editiorials for al-Jazeera America and the leftist website Counterpunch." Also from NoobBusters: Zbigniew Brzezinski only has bad things to say about Israel. [rdbrewer]

Victor Davis Hanson: The Valley of the Shadow
"In medieval times, rich sinners sought to save their souls by buying indulgences to wash away their sins. In the updated version, Silicon Valley crony capitalists and wheeler-dealers buy exemption for their conspicuous consumption with loud manifestations of cool left-wing politics." [rdbrewer]

Daniel Halper Talks Clinton, Inc. on Fox
On The Kelly File. [rdbrewer]

Ed: IRS: Hey, maybe we do have our e-mail backups
New testimony casts doubt on the story the IRS overwrites backup tapes every six months. [rdbrewer]

Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe: Democrats losing moral clarity on Israel
"In the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, 51 percent of Americans say they sympathize more with Israel. Only 14 percent feel greater affinity for the Palestinians.... While support for Israel is overwhelming among Republicans and conservatives, it has been shrinking among Democrats and liberals." [rdbrewer]

Kean/Hamilton, USA Today: Terror threat enters danger zone
"A decade after release of 9/11 Report, there's progress, but we cannot let our guard down." [rdbrewer]

Brendan Bordelon: Top Kerry Aide Tries To Squash Claim Of Anti-Fox News Bias By Lying To The Daily Caller
"'EVERY TIME the Secretary has done round- robin interviews with the Sunday shows, he has appeared on Fox,' Johnson exclaimed." That's some fine bullshit. Also from TheDC: Aussie Carbon Tax Repeal Discourages Cap-And-Traders Across The Planet. [rdbrewer]
LiveScience: MH17 Plane Crash Site Seen from Space
DigitalGlobe has pictures of the site. [rdbrewer]

CBS San Francisco: Strange Bedfellows: Silicon Valley Techies ‘Like’ Conservative Senator Rand Paul
"But how can technology and liberty flourish side by side? Paul’s answer, 'shrink government.'" He's right. Reagan was pro-business, but he said "get government off the back of business." He did not say business should be in government's pocket, and he didn't advise picking winners and losers. And, of course, it worked. [rdbrewer]

Audio Interview: Ed Klein on Blood Feud
"Much to the chagrin of the Washington Post, Ed Klein’s Blood Feud is outselling Hillary Clinton’s new memoirs. Naturally, Klein is elated. 'It is a terrific thrill to knock Hillary off the top of the [best-seller] list, I have to tell you. She helped me a lot, because she put out a committee-written book that has absolutely nothing new in it.'" [rdbrewer]

Asia Obscura: Sifting Through Arthur C. Clarke’s DVD Collection in Colombo
From last winter. Blogger was allowed into Clarke's house which has been closed since his death. Interesting and kind of outrageous. Next time it might not be a nice guy security lets in for a small bribe. Also from Asia Obscura: Prosthetic Noses, Red Wigs, and Whiteface… American Characters in Chinese Films. [rdbrewer]

ONN: Marvel Reimagines Green Goblin As Left-Handed [rdbrewer]

The Hockey Schtick: New paper finds only ~3.75% of atmospheric CO2 is man-made from burning of fossil fuels
"The findings are in stark contrast to alarmist claims that essentially all of the alleged 130 ppm increase in CO2 since pre-industrial times is of man-made origin from the burning of fossil fuels...." Yeah, but #ClimateMoney. [rdbrewer]

Victor Davis Hanson, PJM: Obama’s Tranquility
"In short, outside the rather limited Western world of democracy and free market capitalism, the world — Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East — is a very untranquil place, where the strong dictate to the weak and the weak suffer as they must." Obama's magical thinking will get us through. Via @EdDriscoll. [rdbrewer]

USA Today: TSA security fee on airline tickets rises Monday
Congress approved the fees. And now they're doubling. Who could've seen that coming? [rdbrewer]
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The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
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Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
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The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
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John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
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