Archive for September, 2012

September 30, 2012

TIM CAVANAUGH: If Romney’s Losing, Why Do The Media Act Like He’s Already The President? Well, only for the purpose of being blamed. It’s like he’s already been elected “scape-President” or something.

And this seems right: “Romney is also the incumbent in a cultural sense–he is the old, rich, white guy that 45 years of higher education and Hollywood have inveighed against. He has a stake in the system and values that two successive generations of elites have been taught to hate.”

Obama, of course, is just the reverse. How’s that working out? Bad enough that the media have had to create the new office of “scape-President” to distract from it. . . .

September 30, 2012

FAST AND FURIOUS: Univision Breaks New Details of Obama Admin’s Fast and Furious Cover-Up.

And a question from Bob Owens: Will Romney mention Fast and Furious during the debates, to help force an issue to the surface that the palace guard MSM are “unexpectedly” reticent to discuss?

September 30, 2012

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Harsh Reality Hits California’s Community Colleges.

September 30, 2012

THE SILENCE OF THE NINETY ONE PERCENT: WE ARE THE 91%: Only 9% of Americans Cooperate with Pollsters  and most of my family and friends aren’t among them.  Why not?   They don’t trust the person on the other side of the phone NOT to be from the government and taking down numbers for nefarious purposes.  After Joe the Plumber, after Fast and Furious and Benghazi-gate, after the media that won’t report this administration’s malfeasance, do you blame them?

September 30, 2012

JOE SCARBOROUGH Doubles Down. This won’t help his 2016 campaign.

September 30, 2012

CLASS: Obama Camp to Deploy Fake GST Steel Employee to Bash Mitt Romney Before Debate.

September 30, 2012

TOO BAD THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN: Gallup surveyed Libyan public opinion a few months ago and found that 95 percent of respondents wanted the country’s militias disarmed at once.

September 30, 2012

FAKE? Bots Make Up Ten Percent of Online Traffic, Study Says. “Automated traffic-generating robots have always been a problem on the web, but the problem may be worsening as advertisers sink more dollars into spreading their message in creative ways, though contests, polls, and social promotions. Non-consumer traffic in actions like registration and voting increased from 6 percent in 2011 to 26 percent today, Solve Media says.”

September 30, 2012

ANOTHER STATE DEPARTMENT SCANDAL: An American lawyer named Warren Rothman was tortured and nearly killed in China. State Department officials inadvertently collaborated with Rothman’s would-be killers and didn’t exactly handle that mistake in a confidence-inspiring manner. Joel Brinkley has the story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

[Rothman] contacted officials at the State Department Office of the Inspector General and told them of the distressing role the acting consul and other consulate officers had played in his own drama.

Well, late last month, the inspector general’s office wrote back and told Rothman, “We have determined that the appropriate office to address your concerns is the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs” – the very State Department office where the diplomats in question worked.

There’s an ineffectual response, if ever I have heard one.

I wrote to the agency and asked why on earth it had referred Rothman back to the office where the accused bad actors worked. Brian D. Rubendall, special agent in charge of the office, told me simply: “Our office made the decision that” the State Department bureau was “best suited to handle the complaint.”

I hope I never have to count on these people.

September 30, 2012

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Build A Black Hole Laser.

September 30, 2012

ON THE EVE OF PERESTROIKA: “Something has gone awry in the U.S. economy over the past decade,” Fred Bauer writes at the Daily Caller. “The Cold War provides a troubling parallel here:”

By the late 1970s and early 1980s, Soviet growth began to slow considerably. By how much it slowed remains a point of contention (the notorious secrecy of Kremlin bureaucrats makes exact economic numbers hard to pin down), but official C.I.A. numbers estimated that average annual economic growth for the Soviet Union was about 1.9% between 1975 and 1980 and 1.8% between 1980 and 1985. These estimates would give the Soviet Union a faster average growth rate between 1975 and 1985 than the United States has seen in the past decade. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many charged the C.I.A. with overestimating Soviet growth, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s. An alternative measure, established by economist G.I. Khanin, finds that the U.S.S.R. grew at an annual rate of 1% between 1975 and 1980 and at an annual rate of 0.6% between 1980 and 1985. This statistic puts U.S. growth in a slightly better light, but one can only take so much solace from the fact that the United States has still had almost five years of average annual growth at or below the most pessimistic estimates of Soviet growth rates in the early 1980s. Even by the standards of a Soviet five-year plan, the last five years of the American economy’s growth have been disappointing.

Entirely unrelated to the above, the Obama Campaign’s latest poster appears to set the Wayback Machine to about 1917 or so. Forward!

September 30, 2012

“FAILED LEADERSHIP STARTS AT THE TOP:” On Libya, Team Obama Is Now a House Divided Against Itself.

September 30, 2012

FROM THE IT-WOULD-BE-NEWS-IF-A-REPUBLICAN-WERE-PRESIDENT DEPARTMENT: Bomb Blasts Kill At Least 32 In Iraq.

September 30, 2012

CAN THERE BE THAT MANY? 10 TV Shows You Need To Watch This Fall.

September 30, 2012

MORE WORRIES ABOUT Super Gonorrhea.

September 30, 2012

THE MOBS ARE BACK: This sort of thing is not going to stop any time soon.

A mob torched and vandalised a village of Buddhists in Cox’s Bazaar’s Ramu Upazila early on Sunday in one of the worst religious attacks in Bangladesh apparently triggered by a Facebook posting allegedly defaming the Quran.

Eyewitnesses and police said the assailants set fire to at least six Buddhist temples and nearly 20 homes and looted and damaged more than a hundred others until 3am in the hate attack.

September 30, 2012

AT AMAZON, coupons galore in Grocery & Gourmet Food.

September 30, 2012

KEITH HENNESSEY: The Washington Post’s Hatchet Job On Paul Ryan. “I would expect a story like this on the Newsweek or Huffington Post sites, but the Post purports to be nonpartisan and balanced.”

UPDATE: Hmm. Paul Ryan: Eric Holder must go over Fast and Furious.

September 30, 2012

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Duke Launches $3.25 Billion Fundraising Campaign. “The campaign, called Duke Forward: Partnering for the Future, already has taken in about $1.325 billion during its planning, or silent, phase over the last two years.”

Be careful, Duke. There are already calls to spread the endowment wealth around.

UPDATE: Reader Jason Hudson writes:

If Harvard has a $30B endowment, why isn’t it ‘taxed’ to support the Mountain Empire Community Colleges of the world? This should be a Democratic position.

I think everybody does better if you just spread the nonprofit wealth around. #Reynolds2016.

September 30, 2012

WE ARE THE 91%: Only 9% of people cooperate with pollsters, Zombie writes.

Related thoughts from Paul Rahe at Ricochet.

September 30, 2012

THE NEXT SUBPRIME: Over $120 Billion In Federal Student Loans In Default.

Who could have seen this coming?

Related: Student Debt Malinvestment. “This presents a bigger problem than simply sending people to college who end up unemployed or underemployed. It means that capital is being misallocated. If debt for education cannot simply be discharged through bankruptcy, as other debt can be, private lenders will tend toward offering much more of the nondischargeable debt, and less of dischargeable debt. This means that there is less capital available for other uses — like starting or expanding a business.”

September 30, 2012

ACE: The Administration Claimed A Video, Not Preplanned Terrorism, Was Responsible for the Benghazi Attack for 12 Days:

If you haven’t seen this — or emailed it to others — then watch it, and then email it to others.

Especially noteworthy is Ayaman Al-Zawahiri, the current “Spiritual Leader” of Al Qaeda, calling for vengeance in Libya for the death of one of its operatives there, just days before the vengeance occurred.

And the administration didn’t evacuate the embassy, or send Marines, or even give it security more effective than door locks.

Krauthammer calls out his liberal colleagues, including Nina Totenberg and Mark Sheids, to their faces, and Nina Totenberg literally chuckles it off.

Let me explain why this is different than previous bias.

Read the whole thing.

RELATED: No, Obama Didn’t Call Benghazi “Act of Terror” in Speech, Alana Goodman writes at Commentary: 

Actually, this is much more than an issue of semantics. Calling it a terrorist attack would have given Obama powers under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF) to use military action, including drone warfare, against the perpetrators. If he were serious about “bring[ing] to justice the killers,” which he vowed to do in the speech, then labeling this incident a terrorist attack (if he believed that’s what it was) would have been critical.

“Instead,” Goodman adds, “we now have the FBI sitting with its hands bound in Tripoli, unable to move forward with a serious investigation.”

September 30, 2012

COMPETENCE: Not Even the White House Knows the Drones’ Body Count.

September 30, 2012

LET THE ‘GANGNAM STYLE’ PARODIES BEGIN! James Lileks profiles a local musician who’s kicking it “Minnesota Style,” which already has over 200,000 views on YouTube.

 

September 30, 2012

MEDIA MYTH ALERT: In run-up to Obama-Romney encounter, myth of JFK-Nixon presidential debate circulates anew.

September 30, 2012

PROFESSOR JACOBSON: “Looks like I’m onto something if J. Bradford DeLong is on the case.”

September 30, 2012

COMPETENCE: The Hill: McCain calls Obama ‘inept’ and ‘ignorant’ in reaction to Libya attack. He might have added “dishonest,” but I suppose he was trying to show a modicum of courtesy.

September 30, 2012

PHARMACEUTICALS IN GREECE: “Greece’s state-administered healthcare system operates only 10 pharmacies that dispense pre-paid mood stabilizers and other medications. The country’s approximately 9,000 privately owned pharmacies demand cash that customers can recoup from the government insurance fund. Neither scheme works. The reason, of course, is money. There is none.”

September 30, 2012

GWEN IFILL PREEMPTS THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE:

Sure sign that President Obama’s media cheerleaders are worried about his upcoming debate performance?  Four days before the first debate, Gwen Ifill of PBS has an op-ed in The Washington Post downplaying the importance of . . . debates.  Or, as she puts it, “debunk[ing] five myths about presidential debates.”

Myth Number One: Voters use debates to decide.”

As Ms. Ifill explains, “Gallup polls going back decades show precious little shift in established voter trends before and after debates.”

And yet Ifill was certainly eager to moderate one in 2008, despite having a pro-Obama book already scheduled for publication early the next year.

September 30, 2012

DON DRAPER HAS LEFT THE BUILDING: “Meet Ukrainian model Stav Strashko, the new face of Toyota’s Auris in Japan. You’re thinking, ‘….what did I just see?’”

I’m not sure what message Toyota is trying to send about their new car, but…dude. (No really.)

(Via Michael Malone.)

September 30, 2012

JERRY BROWN SIGNS CALIFORNIA TV, FILM TAX CREDIT EXTENSION:

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed legislation extending the state’s $100 million tax-credit fund for two more years.

The measure allows California producers a 20 percent or 25 percent credit against income and sales and use taxes.

Two nearly identical measures, AB 2026 from Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes and SB 1197 from state Sen. Ron Calderon, were sent to the governor’s desk on the final day of the legislative session. With their passage, the California Film Commission can continue  to allocate tax credits through and including the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Two observations: 1. Jerry Brown finally discovers the Laffer Curve! (And then promptly forgets it for the rest of California.)

2. Repeal the Hollywood Tax Cuts! (To coin a phrase.)

September 30, 2012

WE ARE GIVING DRONES TO THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE OF YEMEN: What could possibly go wrong?

September 30, 2012

GLOBAL DIAPER SHORTAGE: At least according to the Telegraph.  Rare metals, medicines, bacon… now diapers?  It’s the end of civilization.

 

September 30, 2012

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: WaPo Attacks: BenghaziGate? “Evidence is growing that the death of four American officials in Benghazi, including a charismatic and talented ambassador, came at a time when appropriate security procedures and precautions were not being taken. That at least is the burden of this story in the Washington Post, a story that few in the White House will enjoy reading. . . . There was a failure to connect the dots: the deterioration of the security situation in eastern Libya was marked and ongoing, and the liaison office in Benghazi was exactly the kind of soft, prominent target that would draw the wrong kind of attention. And while all the facts aren’t in, one gets a persistent sense that the bad guys knew entirely too much about what was going on there. The press has started digging now, and it won’t stop until it reaches bottom. The problem for the administration is that the hole keeps getting deeper, and we don’t seem to have touched bottom yet.”

This won’t help Hillary’s chances in 2016. Or Obama’s in 2012.

September 30, 2012

“LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE.” Justice Scalia not on board with my revolving-door tax on government officials. But I’m sticking to my guns on this one.

September 30, 2012

AT AMAZON, Markdowns on Kids’ Halloween Costumes.

Also, up to 50% off on Science Toys.

And, today only: Tron: Legacy/Tron Original Classic (Five-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy), $37.49.

September 30, 2012

WHY IS JOE SCARBOROUGH IGNORING OBAMA’S LIBYA SCANDAL? That’s the question John Nolte asks at Big Journalism.

Love the photo illustrating the article.

September 30, 2012

LOWER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: “We get almost no return for our education ‘investment.’”

September 30, 2012

FAST AND FURIOUS BACK IN THE HEADLINES: Univision reportedly finds more victims.

September 30, 2012

CHANGE: When it costs more to be poor – Fed and government shifting inflation onto rent, medical care, and food. QE3 to widen the gap between the poor and the wealthy. “Inflation has been picking up since the recession ended in 2009. The problem with the CPI increasing year over year with no rise in household incomes is that the standard of living for most Americans erodes every year that incomes do not keep up. Household incomes are back to levels last seen in the mid-1990s while the cost of necessities has gone up. . . . Even a one percent rate of inflation is troubling if incomes are stagnant or falling. Since the recession has ended inflation has occurred even as measured by the CPI. Over this same timeframe, household incomes have remained stagnant and household net worth has fallen close to 40 percent. Yet there is something more troubling in the actual data. The inflation rate is actually being understated because Americans have shifted consumption from non-essential goods to actually seeing inflation in things that they actually need.”

September 30, 2012

21ST CENTURY WORKPLACES: The Problem of Raunchy Lesbian Co-Workers.

September 30, 2012

TODAY IS GOLD STAR FAMILY DAY. Notably, it’s also the day our Afghanistan troop death toll has reached 2000.

September 30, 2012

HOW WOMEN made porn fashionable.

September 30, 2012

JOE SCARBOROUGH’S STOCKHOLM SYNDROME: Scott Johnson of Power Line on Scarborough and the company he keeps at MSNBC, clearly setting the stage for the long-awaited Scarborough/Reynolds 2016 showdown:

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough hangs around with a bad crowd at MSNBC, and it has had the predictable Stockholm Syndrome effect, as David Brooks’s tenure at the New York Time has had on him. In the infamous video below, Scarborough histrionically condemns Mitt Romney based on a misleading account of the Romney/Ryan campaign appearance outside Dayton last week. The Blaze picked it up here.

“I think Joe Scarborough is less a perpetrator than a victim in this matter,” Johnson adds. “He is a victim of MSNBC’s own shoddy partisanship and propaganda. He hangs around with a bad crowd. He wants to be liked.”

Joe may want to be liked by more than just the immediate gang at MSNBC. Knowing the Obama White House is watching your show — and ready to pounce with an email or two helpfully suggesting “corrections” while a segment is on the air also has a way of focusing the mind…

September 30, 2012

MICHAEL BARONE: When It Comes To Polls, Readers Beware.

Scott Rasmussen: Yes, Dems likely have 2-4 point advantage in November.

Me: The most important thing is showing up.

September 30, 2012

PROF. JACOBSON: How did Elizabeth Warren go from “not eligible” to “inactive” in Texas? (Update – As of 9/21/2012, Warren’s Texas license was on Administrative Suspension?) “Sometime by or on Monday, September 24, Warren’s status was changed to ‘inactive’ and other information was removed from Warren’s Texas Bar page. On Monday I’ll try to find out how and why.”

September 30, 2012

Pinterest: cupcake recipes, nail art, tips on weddings, motivational posters and… a tool of law enforcement.

September 30, 2012

FISTS OF FURY! Great moments in Drudge juxtapositions. (Story links here, incidentally.)

September 30, 2012

IN THE MAIL: From Rudy Rucker, Jim and the Flims.

September 30, 2012

A REFLECTION ON PUNCH SULZBERGER, who died yesterday, from my Wisconsin Law School colleague Nina Camic, who was “an au pair to his little girl” in the 1960s: “I came [from Warsaw] with barely a flight bag full of clothes and possessions and joined a household that had a staff of helpers and an extended family of cousins, aunts, nephews — all intensely close, bonded in ways that history sometimes bonds people because of unusual circumstances.”

September 30, 2012

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Dispatches From The War That Doesn’t Exist.

As everybody knows, there is no such thing as a global war on terror anymore. Instead we live in a harmonious world of interfaith comity with only the occasional criminal act that is quickly and competently handled by law enforcement officials. As a result we can cut our defense budgets and get on with the real business of life, which is to say watching TV, going to the mall and voting to re-elect the strategic geniuses whose wise decisions and firm but thoughtful leadership gave us this tranquil world order.

As we celebrate this new age of peace, understanding and joy, here are a few stories that might matter if we didn’t have such a wise and level-headed government in Washington that was bent on soothing and quieting what might otherwise be an aroused and worried public opinion.

Read the whole thing. I have a feeling that one way or another, this age of peace, understanding, and joy has only about 5 more weeks to run. . . .

Key bit: “We may be tired of the war on terror, but the terrorists aren’t tired of waging war on us. Far from it. They are just warming up.”

September 30, 2012

The Progressive War On Science.  I was discussing this with a scientist friend just the other day.

September 30, 2012

COMPETENCE: Washington Post: In Libya, security was lax before attack that killed U.S. ambassador, officials say.

September 30, 2012

I DON’T THINK IT’S “JOURNALISTIC PROSTITUTION.” I think they’re giving it away.

September 30, 2012

I’D GO WITH CUTE: Cute or creepy? Carrie Underwood gives 12-year-old boy first kiss.

September 30, 2012

Drudge headlines this morning, screen capture

The main headline reports the 2,000 military deaths in Afghanistan, but below the fold there’s this:  MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: OBAMA PLANS $450 MILLION CASH FOR EGYPT…

We can’t afford this administration’s foreign policies anymore than we can afford its economic policies.

September 30, 2012

MEGAN MCARDLE: America Really Is Exceptional: Our economy is bigger than anyone else’s. That means we have to choose policies more carefully.

September 30, 2012

AT AMAZON, Warehouse Deals in Video Games.

September 30, 2012

MY SUNDAY WASHINGTON EXAMINER COLUMN: November And The Importance of Showing Up.

September 30, 2012

VIDEO: California Shuts Down Fifty-Year-Old Burger Joint For Having Counters Too Tall.

September 30, 2012

THEODORE DALRYMPLE: Are the Treatment and Prevention of Obesity Different Problems?

September 30, 2012

ED KRAYEWSKI: Obama’s Dismal Record on Foreign Policy: The Nobel Peace Prize winner has not earned his award.

In 2009, President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As he himself admitted, the honor wasn’t bestowed on him for much he had yet done, but for what he was expected to do. As a candidate Obama got a lot of grief for promising in his nomination acceptance speech that his presidency would be the moment when the rise of the oceans would slow and the Earth would begin to heal, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee didn’t help by pinning an award on him based on expected “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Nearly three years later, the fruits of any strengthened international diplomacy or cooperation between peoples are bitter, if they exist at all.

Indeed.

September 30, 2012

COMPETENCE: US forces in the dark about Taliban infiltration in Afghanistan. “U.S. and coalition commanders are no closer to knowing how deep the Taliban has penetrated Afghanistan’s security forces despite increased efforts to flush out infiltrators who are carrying out attacks against Americans.”

September 30, 2012

AMBASSADOR CHRIS STEVENS IS DEAD; AL-QAEDA IS ALIVE: Rand Simberg on the false campaign narrative of the president’s foreign policy.

 

September 30, 2012

LEGAL GEEKS: Firefly And Lessons In Contract Law.

September 30, 2012

OUR DEAD AMBASSADOR: “He probably had it coming.”

September 30, 2012

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Scheduling Sex May Sound Unsexy but There’s a Way to Make it Hot.

September 30, 2012

Question all authority but the educator’s seems to be the order of business at many schools.  (I noticed that trend as my kids went through K-12, and I noticed it getting worse over the years.)

 

September 30, 2012

Mouth of Giant Black Hole Measured.  No word yet on whether it’s the one located over US treasury.

September 30, 2012

Apparently there’s a New Theory On Why Men Love Breasts.  (And here, I thought the old theory “because they’re men” was just fine.)

September 30, 2012

If you read urban fantasy and also like police procedurals, you might want to consider Nocturnal Origins (full disclosure, the author is a friend. However, the book’s unusual combination of fantasy and realism makes it worth it on its own merits.)

Meanwhile at her newly-revived blog, the author of the book linked above wonders Would you trust California with your retirement plan?

September 29, 2012

Firefly and lessons in contract law.

September 29, 2012

The Weekly Winston: Middle East Edition

September 29, 2012

The Winter of Our Discontent and the September Of Obama’s Incompetence.

September 29, 2012

I WOULD RATHER WE JUST ABOLISHED COPYRIGHT ENTIRELY THAN ENGAGE IN THIS TRAVESTY: “Reminiscent of buggy whip manufacturers taking legal action against auto makers, the former U.S. Register of Copyrights, Ralph Oman, has given an amicus brief in the Aereo case (PDF) stating that all new content-delivery technology should be presumed illegal unless and until it is approved by Congress. He adds that providers of new technology should be forced to apply to Congress to prove they don’t upset existing business models.”

September 29, 2012

FEELING UNSAFE ON THE STREET? There’s an App for That. “If the user feels unsafe, the Safety Advisor will stay on the line with you until you have reached your destination. In the event that something does happen to you while on the phone with a Safety Advisor, they will be able to call 911. The second feature is called ‘Silent Alarm.’ If this button is slid when you are in a situation where you cannot talk to a Safety Advisor, StreetSafe will contact the local 911 call center immediately, find your whereabouts using the GPS feature on your phone, and provide your age, physical description and any medical conditions to the authorities that are on their way to rescue you.”

September 29, 2012

NEWS YOU CAN USE: 13 Dumb Sex Tips From The Internet.

September 29, 2012

REPORT: Absentee ballot data not looking good for Democrats.

September 29, 2012

STEVE CROWDER: Staying Celibate Before Marriage Was The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done.

Some people seem offended. Wait, shouldn’t you respect his lifestyle choices?

September 29, 2012

AS ALWAYS, LIFE IMITATES SEINFELD:

KRAMER: Alright, so there I am at Lorenzo’s — loading up my slice of the fixin’s bar.. garlic, (imitates the shaking of garlic onto a pizza) and what-not… mmm, mmm… and I see this guy over at the pizza boxes giving me the stink-eye. (Imitates the ‘stink-eye’) So I give hime the crook-eye back, (Imitates the ‘crook-eye’) you know… Then, I notice that he’s not alone! I’m taking on the entire Van Buren Boys!

JERRY: The Van Buren Boys? There’s a street gang named after President Martin Van Buren?

KRAMER: Oh yeah, and they’re just as mean as he was!

Flash-forward to today; the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, “A St. Louis teen who authorities say is a member of a gang called the ‘Obama Boyz’ has been charged with two shootings on Saturday.”

RELATED: Speaking of Seinfeld, Seinfeld Star Admits ‘Man-Crush’ On Obama:”

Like many in Hollywood, [Jason Alexander, who played uber-nebbish George Costanza] has been a fervent Obama supporter and has criticized the so-called “1-percent” even though he is a part of it.

“I do not want to live in that 1-percent.  I don’t believe in it,” Alexander said. ”I don’t think our country, or any country, runs well when the 1-percent is thriving and the rest are suffering and struggling.”

Alexander was reported to earn six hundred thousand dollars per episode in his final season on Seinfeld.

September 29, 2012

THIS IS A DAMN SHAME: Fighting in Syria has severely damaged the medieval souk in Aleppo. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Here are some pictures of what it looked like before it burned.

September 29, 2012

#GREENFAIL: CBO: Electric vehicles a loser that allow for more pollution.

September 29, 2012

AT AMAZON, new releases in Science Fiction.

September 29, 2012

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): National Journal: “A majority of Americans now define success as not falling behind. They worry that fundamental changes in the economy are making it more difficult for them—and their children—to get ahead.”

September 29, 2012

OUT OF THE COOL: David Brooks channels Mauren Dowd. Dowd has long championed Obama as the cool and aloof “President Spock”*; Brooks, brought in to the Times’ token conservative, instead tells his fellow Obama supporters on PBS’s NewsHour yesterday that all Obama has to be do in the Middle East is “just be calm:”

“So, Obama, I think his task is reasonably clear — just be calm, stay calm, whatever that British slogan [is that] we’re all repeating now, ‘stay calm and in control,’ whatever it is,” Brooks said. “And so he just has to be calm.  And somebody made a good point today. He had a pretty bad week in the Middle East, or a pretty bad two weeks in the Middle East, but he reacted with calmness. And so he sort of gets a pass on really what is sort of a chaotic administration policy.  Romney is the one with the burden. … He has to say, listen, I haven’t been a great candidate, but if you elect me, there are four organizations I’m going to fix. I am going to fix the tax code.”

 Or as Brooks admitted last year around this time in a rare moment of candor, “I’m a sap, a specific kind of sap. I’m an Obama Sap.”

* Though as any real Star Trek fan can tell you, there’s a reason why every episode that Spock was in command nearly ended in disaster, and his fellow officers longed for Capt. Kirk’s return to the bridge to restore normalcy.

UPDATE: “The future must not belong to those who blaspheme the first officer of the Enterprise,” an Insta-reader warns:

What? Spock a bad captain? Not at all! He was trying to lead the Enterprise out of danger during “The Doomsday Machine”. He would have, if Commodore Decker had not interfered. In “The Tholian Web,” Spock successfully overcame resistance from the crew, rescued the ship and saved Kirk. While in command of a shuttlecraft crew in “Galileo 7,” Spock again saved everyone from certain death. In “The Paradise Syndrome,” Spock deflected an asteroid strike and rescued Kirk who had lost his memory.

Spock is logical, empirical and dutiful. To compare him to Obama is grossly unfair.

Heh. I didn’t say he was a bad officer at all — just noting the frustration he could cause his human crewmembers. (And riffing off a video Bill Whittle made on the topic for PJTV back in 2009.)

September 29, 2012

HONDAJET UPDATE: Honda now building jet maintenance center. “The 90,000-square-foot center will be finished and occupied in 2013, just prior to the HondaJet’s entry into service, the company said in a news release.”

I wrote about the HondaJet for Popular Mechanics a while back.

September 29, 2012

IF YOU HAVE TO ASK HOW MUCH IT COSTS:   You can’t afford it.  Mercedes Benz announced its plans to sell a 46 foot Granturismo yacht beginning in 2013.  No price has yet been announced (not that it matters).  Check it out yourself, but it looks kind of boring and not particularly well laid out– for a 46 footer– to me.

September 29, 2012

JENNIFER GARNER: My husband has “wonder sperm.”

September 29, 2012

NEWSBUSTERS: CBS Radio Reporter Cheers the State’s Ability to ‘Punish the Filmmaker’ for Upsetting Muslims? Here’s the segment that aired on CBS Radio yesterday:

CBS RADIO ANCHOR (Steve Kathan): The man behind the anti-Islam video that sparked outrage in the Muslim world is still in jail in Los Angeles. It’s for a probation violation.

RAVIV: I’m Dan Raviv in Washington. The short movie posted on YouTube has had a lot of diplomatic impact. It was *clearly* designed to insult the Prophet Mohammed, and a senior Obama administration official told CBS News last week that no one in the Middle East seems to believe that the US government could not stop the film from getting out. Now at least Federal authorities might be able to *punish* the filmmaker.”

ANCHOR The Dow is down 69. This is CBS News.

There’s audio at the link, so you can decide for yourself, but to my ears, Raviv does sound pretty darn enthusiastic about Nakoula’s arrest. As Tim Graham of Newsbusters asks, “Is this the way CBS News reveres freedom of speech? Is Raviv unaware that he sounds like he supports punishing those who speak ill of Muhammad?”

September 29, 2012

DRAMATICALLY DECLINING DEMOCRATIC VOTER REGISTRATION:  Of course you won’t find this widely reported in the mainstream media.  Fox News reports that a recent study by a left-leaning think tank, Third Way, shows a precipitous decline in voters registering as Democrat in key swing states.  In Ohio, for example, there are 490,000 fewer registered voters than in 2008, 44 percent of whom reside in Cleveland and surrounding Cuyahoga County, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2:1.

Ohio is not alone. . . . Democratic voter registration decline in eight key swing states outnumbered the Republican decline by a 10-to-one ratio. In Florida, Democratic registration is down 4.9 percent, in Iowa down 9.5 percent. And in New Hampshire, it’s down down 19.7 percent.

Another reason why many recent polls–which oversample Democrats and “weight” results based on 2008 presidential election turnout rates–may indeed be highly misleading.

September 29, 2012

IRREFUTABLE PROOF THAT HELL EXISTS: Ke$ha Talks About Having Sex With Ghost. Could be worse. Could have been Madonna.

UPDATE: Readers wonder what the poor guy could have done in life to merit such a punishment. Hey, don’t ask me. . .

September 29, 2012

THE NAMES CHANGE, THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME: This just in to Patrick B. Pexton, the Washington Post’s ombudsman: His paper’s “news columnists almost to a person write from left of center:”

One aspect of The Post that particularly irks conservatives is the columnists who appear in print and online in news positions (as opposed to those on the editorial and op-ed pages and the online Opinions section). With the exception of Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza, who cover politics in a nonpartisan way, the news columnists almost to a person write from left of center.

Ezra Klein* of Wonkblog comes out of the Democratic left, fills in for Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz on MSNBC and sometimes appears in the printed Post on the front page.

Steven Pearlstein, who covers business and also appears occasionally on the front page; Walter Pincus on national security; Lisa Miller of the On Faith blog; Melinda Henneberger of She the People; Valerie Strauss, the education blogger; plus the three main local columnists — Robert McCartney, Petula Dvorak and Courtland Milloy — all generally write from a progressive perspective, readers say. (So does Dana Milbank, who works for the Opinions section but writes a column that appears on Page A2 twice a week.)

Is it any wonder that if you’re a conservative looking for unbiased news — and they do; they don’t want only Sean Hannity’s interpretation of the news — that you might feel unwelcome, or dissed or slighted, by the printed Post or the online version? And might you distrust the news when it’s wrapped in so much liberal commentary?

Why yes, you might, particularly since the paper has been aware of this issue for some time, and has chosen to do nothing about it. While not naming names, the late Deborah Howell, Pexton’s forerunner as the Post’s ombud, made the same observation four years ago, immediately after the 2008 election was over, and it was obvious how deeply her paper’s writers had been in the Obama tank:

But some of the conservatives’ complaints about a liberal tilt are valid. Journalism naturally draws liberals; we like to change the world. I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo.

And as Brent Baker of Newsbusters spotted at the time, “As for Howell’s presumption [that] ‘most Post journalists voted for Obama,’ that’s a safe bet given how 96 percent of the staff at Post-owned Slate reported they planned to back Obama.”

Doesn’t look like much has changed at the Post in the last four years, except for its continually eroding subscriber base and level of trust.

Much more on the topic from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

* “At Washington Post, mum’s the word on JournoList,” Byron York noted in 2010 at the Washington Examiner.

UPDATE: Moe Lane diagrams the inevitably short unhappy lifespan of a conservative working for a liberal newspaper, and concludes, “I… would heartily recommend that conservatives avoid news careers.”

September 29, 2012

A HIGHER DOSE OF LIBERTARIANISM, PLEASE:  Damon Root over at Reason takes on the New York Times’ David Brooks’ assertion that the increasing influence of libertarians in the GOP has been bad because Brooks doesn’t think libertarians “speak in the language of social order.”  Root correctly points out that Brooks seems to have no clue about libertarianism:

Libertarians favor limiting the size and scope of government precisely because they believe that approach will offer the greatest opportunity for people to seek their own happiness, whether as individuals, parents, church-goers, or, yes, even as business owners.

Does that make libertarianism anti-social? Hardly. Libertarians simply maintain that there is a crucial distinction between state and society and they hope to maintain a wall of separation when appropriate so that the latter may flourish.

My guess is that Brooks isn’t really so ignorant.  Instead, Brooks and other liberals/progressives feel intensely threatened by the growing GOP embrace of libertarians for one simple reason:  Libertarians are agnostic or supportive of “social” issues such as gay marriage and abortion–issues that the Democrats believe “belong” to their party alone, and that they use to paint (inaccurately) a sharp contrast between themselves and the GOP.

September 29, 2012

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Does Having A Boyfriend Affect How Often You Shave Your Legs?

September 29, 2012

AT AMAZON, an Outlet Sale in portable audio & video.

Also, today only: $1.99 Mysteries & Thrillers on Kindle.

September 29, 2012

GOLF AND PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY: A Quiz.

September 29, 2012

TIME TO EUTHANIZE OBAMACARE:  Jeffrey Anderson at the Weekly Standard applauds Mitt Romney’s recent stump speech emphasizing that ObamaCare is the single largest attack on individual liberty since, well . . .  EVER.  For the first time in history (thanks to Chief Justice Roberts and the 4-vote liberal bloc of the Supreme Court), the federal government has the incredible power to “tax” us when we fail to buy a private product that Congress, in its infinite wisdom, thinks we should buy.   Observes Anderson:

James Madison argued in Federalist 51 that our Constitution provides a “double security” to “the rights of the people.” One half of that security is the separation of powers among the three branches of government. The other half is federalism, the separation of powers between the federal government and the states. Madison argued that both of these checks on the concentration of power were essential to securing our rights.

Obama-care lays waste to half of this “double security” by funneling almost unimaginable levels of power and money to Washington. What’s more, in its startling delegation of de facto lawmaking power to the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other unelected figures in the executive branch, it also severely undermines the separation of powers among the branches. For example, Obama-care is making it illegal for anyone in America (with the narrow exception of houses of worship) to freely sell or buy an insurance plan that fails to offer free birth control and sterilization. But this ban is nowhere to be found in the 2,700 pages of the law itself. Rather, it came as a decree from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, exercising her newfound power. If Obama-care isn’t repealed, examples of such rule by fiat will proliferate.

This brings us back to Romney, the only man who stands in the way of Obama-care’s taking root from coast to coast.

September 29, 2012

A BRAVE MAN: Israel journalist and researcher Jonathan Spyer illegally sneaked into Syria to report on Assad’s killing fields.

September 29, 2012

POINTS AND FIGURES: The Coming Recession.

September 29, 2012


FROM VODKAPUNDIT, The Week in Blogs.