LIKE A TIME CAPSULE: Wisconsin family discovers fully-stocked fallout shelter in their back yard 50 years after it was installed at the height of the Cold War. “Everything remained remarkably well-preserved, thanks to the airtight containers the supplies were kept in.”
Plus this bit of post-Cold War journalistic ignorance: “The idea of a fallout shelter was not to protect from a nuclear blast, but rather from the radiation that would likely contaminate the surrounding area. It’s unknown what fallout the late Dr Pansch was expecting in Neenah. The small Wisconsin city is 100 miles from Milwaukee and nearly 200 from Chicago – the population centers that might have been targeted by the Soviets.” Had those targets been hit — or missile fields farther west — there would have been plenty of fallout.
UPDATE: Reader Gerald Hanner emails:
I spent seven years serving in the SAC Airborne Command Post System, aka the Post Attack Command Control System. Even now my recollections of that time are clear.
Somebody in Neenah Wisconsin definitely wouldn’t have been worried about the blast effects of a nuclear weapon. The town is on the northern end of Lake Winnebago, and there is a regional airport northwest of the town, near Appleton, that might once have been a base for air defense interceptors. I doubt the Soviets would have gone to the trouble to take out a runway as small as Outagamie Regional Airport. However, based on what we knew of their political thinking, we expected them to hit every state capital because in the minds of the Soviet planners that is where all the command and control would be. As far as missile fields further west, yes, there were some. Grand Forks and Minot, both in North Dakota, had 150 Minuteman missiles each, as did Ellsworth near the Black Hills of South Dakota. F. E. Warren, near Cheyenne, had 150 Minuteman missiles, and Malmstrom, near Great Falls Montana had 200 Minuteman missiles. Everybody expected some or all of the launch control centers to be hit. It was even deemed possible that the Soviets might be inclined to hit the silos themselves. Fortunately we never got to find out.
As insurance against the Soviets successfully attacking the Minuteman launch control centers, there was a backup system known as the Airborne Launch Control System (ALCS). We in the SAC ABNCP System had the capability of commanding Minuteman missile launches from our ABNCP aircraft. I served as a deputy missile launch officer for part of my time the SAC ABNCP. The ALCS remains operational.
UPDATE: Reader Matt Kreutzmann writes:
Regarding the fallout shelter in Neenah, WI, there was plenty of risk of fallout. As you and other readers have noted, the major cities WI and the missile silos in the Dakotas could have brought fallout to Neenah.
Much closer, there were ELF stations in the Chequamagon National Forest and the Escanaba River State Forest that were used to communicate with submerged submarines. They were likely pretty soft targets, but still strategic. It’s an energy intensive and SLOW way to communicate, but it worked. They were decomissioned in 2004, I believe. The Cold War was much more pervasive than people tend to recall.
That would have been the old Sanguine system, I believe. Or, rather, its successors.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: 27 Unexpected Ways Coffee Can Improve Your Life.
THERE’S THAT WORD AGAIN: “Previously owned U.S. home sales unexpectedly dropped in March.”
THE WAGES OF FRACKING: Rise in U.S. Gas Production Fuels Unexpected Plunge in Emissions.
WELL, THEY HAVE TO RELY ON THIS BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE ARGUMENTS: Victor Davis Hanson: The Dangers of Politically Inspired Moral Outrage—From Sandy Hook to What Next?
It is a bad idea to demonize your opponents with epithets such “shameful” and “lying,” given that the case was not made that proposed gun-control legislation would have prevented a Sandy Hook. To prevent these school-shooting horrors might require either armed guards in schools, or Draconian new laws about gratuitous screen and video-game violence, or more frequently incarcerating the mentally unstable, or, on the theory of reducing rapid rates of fire, confiscating millions of previously sold semi-automatic handguns and rifles. All those measures would have offended millions across the political spectrum in ways that demonizing the NRA apparently does not. In the end, it was not the “lying” “gun lobby” that persuaded enough senators to defeat the bill, but the president’s inability to make the argument that his proposals would help stop another Sandy Hook or Columbine.
Moreover, the current sophistry of using catastrophic current events to rush legislative agendas or build political capital is as natural as it is also dangerous — and can rebound in unexpected ways.
Indeed. Related: Former Justice of the Peace Shot Texas Prosecutors, Not Aryan Brotherhood as Chris Matthews Supposed. “The wife of a former justice of the peace revealed to authorities this week that she and her husband are responsible for the deaths of two Texas prosecutors, ending a months-long mystery that aroused speculation, especially by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, that members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas were responsible. On his show, Matthews routinely tied the Aryan Brotherhood to gun-rights supporters.”
TOM MAGUIRE: What Does Obama’s Common Sense Tell Him? “It was a bit of a plot twist to see the leading man booing the audience. Not entirely unexpected, considering the leading man, but still.”
NICK GILLESPIE AND TODD KRAININ: 5 Unacknowledged, Unexpected, and Unavoidable Facts about Govt Spending and the Economy.
RECOVERY SUMMER! Retail Sales Fall . . . wait for it, wait for it . . . Unexpectedly! “Retail sales in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in March by the most in nine months as employment slowed, showing households ended the first quarter on softer footing.”
I WAS EXPECTING AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: Thunderstorms contain ‘dark lightning,’ invisible pulses of powerful radiation.
Scientists recently discovered something mind-bending about lightning: Sometimes its flashes are invisible, just sudden pulses of unexpectedly powerful radiation. It’s what Joseph Dwyer, a lightning researcher at the Florida Institute of Technology, has termed dark lightning. Unknown to Franklin but now clear to a growing roster of lightning researchers and astronomers is that along with bright thunderbolts, thunderstorms unleash sprays of X-rays and even intense bursts of gamma rays, a form of radiation normally associated with such cosmic spectacles as collapsing stars. The radiation in these invisible blasts can carry a million times as much energy as the radiation in visible lightning, but that energy dissipates quickly in all directions rather than remaining in a stiletto-like lightning bolt.
Dark lightning appears sometimes to compete with normal lightning as a way for thunderstorms to vent the electrical energy that gets pent up inside their roiling interiors, Dwyer says. Unlike with regular lightning, though, people struck by dark lightning, most likely while flying in an airplane, would not get hurt. But according to Dwyer’s calculations, they might receive in an instant the maximum safe lifetime dose of ionizing radiation — the kind that wreaks the most havoc on the human body.
I wonder if the mechanism is related to that by which Scotch tape creates X-rays? Interestingly, pilots have reported all sorts of strange sights on the tops of thunderstorms that meteorologists for years pooh-poohed, but science keeps finding evidence that there really are weird things going on there.
THERE’S THAT WORD AGAIN: “The pace of expansion in the U.S. manufacturing sector unexpectedly slowed in March, according to an industry report released on Monday.”
TWO PBSs IN ONE! PBS’s Mark Shields: ‘The Rich Are the Scum of the Earth:’
MARK SHIELDS, PBS: I think it was G. K. Chesterton who said, “Wherever they are, the rich are the scum of the earth.”
SHIELDS: For some reason, Charles doesn’t want to stand up for rich Russians. And I think somebody has to stand up for people who put their money in offshore or nontaxable places. Let’s remember, I mean, look at it this way: Cyprus is the Cayman Islands of a different time zone. That’s what it is. We don’t want rich people paying taxes whether they’re Russian or whether they’re Republicans.
GORDON PETERSON: But the rich people he’s talking about …
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: You don’t think there’s a difference between the way the Russian economy works and who gets rich? Russia doesn’t have a Steve Jobs. Russia has people who steal from what was once Soviet property and you get your money if you’re a crony of Putin and his other people.
SHIELDS: I wasn’t defending how one gets it. I was just merely addressing the compulsion to keep it and never to surrender any to the public wheel.
KRAUTHAMMER: There’s a difference between gains which are ill-gotten or fairly gotten.
NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: [Groans] I’m not sure that a lot of the people that Mark is talking about who aren’t Russian got it so fairly either.
But please you wealthy people whom we just condemned, continue to sponsor our shows, and give generously during one of our seemingly weekly fundraisers. A generous pledge of $500 will bring you a $9.99 DVD of Woodstock and a PBS totebag!
Actually, the full Chesterton quote is:
“You English are an extraordinary lot,” said the Irishman, with a sudden and sombre quietude. ” I sometimes feel you may pull through after all.”
After another silence he said, ‘ You’re always right, Hump, and one oughtn’t to think of Yankees like that. The rich are the scum of the earth in every country. And a vast proportion of the real Americans are among the most courteous, intelligent, self-respecting people in the world. Some attribute this to the fact that a vast proportion of the real Americans are Irishmen.”
Modesty regarding my own heritage means that I can neither confirm nor deny the last portion of that sentiment, but it’s difficult to see anyone at PBS declaring that “a vast proportion of the real Americans are among the most courteous, intelligent, self-respecting people in the world.” I would imagine the thoughts of someone staring out from the glass windows of a PBS building into the hinterlands would be much more akin to this. Not to mention, this.
RELATED: Tales of the One Percent: “WaPo Executives Make Millions While Paper Cuts Staff, Benefits.” That seems rather “unexpectedly” paradoxical behavior from the management of a paper that supported Occupy Wall Street in 2011.
WHY YOUR KID CAN’T GET A JOB, as explained by Michael Malone of Forbes and Silicon Valley marketing executive Tom Hayes:
So what is a kid today to do? One answer is to establish a powerful personal brand independent of work experience. Not just cobble together a few starter jobs, but pursue their own aspirations – and then learn how to define them and market them to the corporate world. Another answer is to take advantage of being a digital natives and build new kinds of networks – and a sharing economy – and find jobs for each other and hire amongst themselves. Freelancing is likely to be their future anyhow, so why not start and learn the skills (from DIY bookkeeping to marketing) of being an entrepreneur now? Young job hunters need to rethink their social media presence. Social proof is critical to employers. Ditch the frat party photos, avoid the drunken tweets. Turn your public social media presence into a showcase of your personal brand and portal of interests and skills. Connect the dots for the prospective hiring manager. The best way to combat a thin resume is with photos, video, endorsements. Be unusual and memorable: if, for example, you reached Level 60 on World of Warcraft, tell your future boss why that means you have monster leadership skills. And, show you have a big and growing network that comes with you when you get hired.
Read the whole the whole thing, and then pass it along to someone who either needs the advice personally, or has kids who would benefit from these suggestions.
ILLINOIS LAW MUST OUTLAW STALKING, NOT ENCOURAGE IT:
Yes, that’s correct; during labor disputes, Illinois’s law against “aggravated stalking” does not apply to union organizers (Public Act 097-0468). This leads to a simple and logical question: is it ever acceptable to engage in stalking? Apparently, the answer in the Land of Lincoln is yes.
For anyone who engages in aggravated stalking in Illinois, it is a Class 3 felony with a “second or subsequent conviction” serving as a Class 2 felony. The penalty for the crime is serious and it should be. That’s what makes the exemption for organized labor — a special interest — so outrageous and inexcusable.
But unfortunately, Illinois is not alone; it is joined by California, Pennsylvania and Nevada. These states have placed the interests of Big Labor bosses above the safety of average citizens.
UNEXPECTEDLY: We had to pass the bill to find out what was in it — and now we know: under the Orwellian named Affordable Care Act, “medical claim costs, the largest driver of health insurance premiums, are expected to increase by 32 percent for individuals, a new study by the Society of Actuaries finds.”
And 2014 is just around the corner…
DEHUMANIZING ELIMINATIONIST RHETORIC: “[Anyone] who would run out to buy an assault rifle after the Newtown massacre has very little left in their body or soul worth protecting,” tweets Jim Carrey, in-between sparring with moviegoers on Twitter who disagree with his anti-Second Amendment viewpoint.
Presumably Carrey is wishing for his box office appeal to become increasingly “selective,” as Spinal Tap manager Ian Faith euphemistically explained his charges’ own declining popularity.
Update: An Insta-reader emails that Carrey’s hateful rhetoric is “a pretty harsh thing to say about Gabby Gifford’s husband….”
Meanwhile, Greg Gutfeld and Dana Loesch punch back twice as hard; including Loesch asking Carrey if he’ll be denouncing his own upcoming Kick Ass 2 movie, to remain consistent with his anti-gun rhetoric; Carrey bravely runs away in response. Unexpectedly.
(Bumped to top.)
RACIAL ALIENATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION: The case of straight, white men.
Most people who are not straight white men would probably smirk at the idea that straight white men feel alienated in the higher education workplace.
Those who smirk, Sandra Miles said here at the annual conference of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, are hindering meaningful discussion about race.
Miles, whose dissertation on the professional experiences of black women in her field produced an unexpected sub-study about the alienation of straight white men, made this argument to a couple hundred people who turned up to hear more about her research. The ensuing debate was, unsurprisingly, somewhat contentious.
A comment by one white graduate student toward the end of the session summed it up well. He described a recent discussion about privilege in a higher education class, when he was shot down after offering his own thoughts.
“I couldn’t even begin to have that conversation because it was automatically assumed I didn’t understand,” he said. “To go through that experience in a higher education class – which is supposed to be the safest place to talk about that – was just terrifying.”
The preconceived notions and biases apparent in the reactions of that student’s peers spoke to the overall takeaway of Miles, who is university ombudsman at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus.
“We’re all unhappy – apparently that’s what equality looks like,” she said. “Every other group feels discriminated against as well, and when having these conversations with people who are members of these other groups, it’s important that you understand that.”
Miles surveyed 671 student affairs professionals, primarily in the South and Midwest. About 230 respondents were black, and 415 were white.
Snippets from the responses of white men suggested many of them feel unfairly judged and at times professionally limited because of their race and gender.
Well, you can only call people the enemy for so long based on their race and gender before they start to notice.
And note this, from the comments: “When I started in the student affairs field in 1975, there were slightly more men than women in the student personnel graduate programs around the country. Today, go to virtually any school and take a look at the gender breakdown either in student development graduate programs or in the student affairs division at that school. You will find that the gender scene has changed dramatically since the 70s. In fact, the field is probably closer to 75% – 80% women. That fact should have us take heed and explore what has changed. The pay is still education pay and lousy so that hasn’t changed. Men have fled from the field for some reason.”
If it were any other race and gender fleeing, it would be a crisis. And if student affairs offices were 75-80% male, it would be seen as creating a hostile environment for female students.
In truth, of course, an increasingly feminized higher education world is, in fact, hostile to men in many ways, and that’s one reason why male enrollment is falling, exacerbating the higher education bubble’s bursting.
Related item here:
Men don’t join the conversation now for the same reason that women didn’t in the 50′s.
In the 50′s if a woman complained about her sexist boss then the entire weight of the organization and society came down on her for not playing her part, and being uppity enough to challenge the real power.
Now after decades of the government and corporate legal counsel’s actively stamping out sexual harassment a new paradigm exists. If a woman complains about a sexist man then the man is presumed guilty until he can prove his innocence. (usually because the company would rather fire him on the spot rather than risk a lawsuit or government interference in their operations) In other words, “the entire weight of the organization and society come down on the uppity man for questioning a powerful woman.”
Maybe someday we’ll achieve that actual equality we’ve been seeking, but for now it’s just safer and better for the man to move on to a less dangerous place and continue his career there.
Coming soon in response: A wave of “Black Knights?”
WINNING THE WAR ON MEN MEANS MORE SINGLE MOMS:
Men are becoming less appealing to women. Meager earnings tend to make a man less marriageable. And as men are skipping college in greater numbers, their wages are dropping.
But as we noted yesterday, the turn away from marriage hasn’t made men any less likely to father children. As a result, single motherhood is on the rise, and boys growing up without fathers will face even worse odds of successful employment and marriage.
Men are doing worse, but female hypergamy remains a strong force. It makes a poor combination.
UPDATE: Reader George Milonas writes:
I think most men would deny they’re in decline. Men are having just as much sex but without the legal liabilities marriage impose on them. All I’m hearing from women in these articles is that men need to grow up and take responsibility for their actions, meaning they need to legally sign a paper imposing government sanctions on them if said marriage dissolves. There is no question that men are getting the shaft from the courts financially when divorce occurs. Furthermore women are also more likely to get custody of any children as well as more decision making responsibility.
Men have wised up after hearing horror story upon horror story from their older friends and family when the court system utterly destroyed their lives and have simply decided to go galt from the entire marriage process.
Divorce courts have become the ultimate nanny state intrusion into the lives of men and the average man has decided that it simply is not worth the risk. Exactly how is that irresponsible to the man? This is the ultimate unexpected consequence Virginia slim gets.
Yes, this is the precise thesis of the Insta-Wife’s forthcoming book.
TEN YEARS ON, soldier recalls Iraq invasion. “I would absolutely do it again.”
It’s nice to hear that from the people who served. I think the Bush Administration dropped the ball on Arab democracy promotion in 2005, when I believe it would have gone better than the “Arab Spring” turned out. And the Obama Administration, of course, blew the withdrawal. Nonetheless Iraq is freer, and vastly more prosperous, than it was under Saddam and has a decent shot at becoming a successful and democratic nation, which is better than many countries in the region. [Later: What, I'm on the same page with Bill Maher?]
UPDATE: A reader whose name I’m omitting because he’s a serving military officer emails:
As a military analyst, I knew why we went in from the beginning. It was the right thing to do, and the right way to do it (at least the invasion, and the later Surge).
There were some middle parts where we didn’t do a great job working toward our goals, but it wasn’t because the invasion was wrong. It was inability to adapt to an unexpected environment. Petraeus’ COIN strategy was correct, and Bush was correct in approving it.
Obama absolutely fumbled the withdrawal.
That seems about right to me.
THERE’S THAT WORD AGAIN: Homebuilder Confidence in U.S. Unexpectedly Fell in March.
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Jobless Claims Rise Sharply. “Jobless claims surged this week, missing expectations by the most since Sandy as seasonal affectations are in the rear-view mirror. For 13 months, we have meandered around a flat-line initial claims number in the 365k range – and we remain there.”
UPDATE: Reader Tom Deakins writes: “You forgot to mention that this latest surge was unexpected.” Well, that goes without saying, by now.
UNEXPECTEDLY! Health Insurers Raise Some Rates by Double Digits. “Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers. Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.”
Hey, weren’t these the people ObamaCare was supposed to help? Who could have seen this coming?
UNEXPECTEDLY! USA Today: Health Care Law May Mean Less Hiring In 2013.
Australia has designs on becoming the leading natural gas supplier for not only Asia, but the entire world. Indeed, the country has the offshore resources and the thirsty markets nearby in Asia to pass Qatar as the world’s top supplier of LNG.
However, Australia’s march towards energy superpowerdom is beginning to run into domestic problems—and new competition. Rising labor costs and high prices in Australia’s booming economy are making it unexpectedly difficult for the Aussies to export their gas and now energy-hungry Asian countries like China and Japan are starting to eye alternative and equally cheap gas from North America. . . .
Whether it’s Australian, American, or Canadian gas that wins the race to the Asian market (and most likely, there is plenty of demand for all three), a few things seem clear:
(1) The long era in which the Middle East was the global supplier of hydrocarbons is coming to an end.
(2) A global switch from coal to natural gas is one of the most practical ways available for civilization to begin the transition to a new kind of energy market. Greens take note.
(3) Asia is not going to be self sufficient in either energy or food in the 21st century, which, from the standpoint of those who hope to see the world becoming a more peaceful and economically integrated place, is a very good thing. The rising Asian powers will need a healthy, stable and secure global system to feed their people and run their economies.
THE BIG FREEZE: Cold Weather Across Europe, Asia Kills Hundreds.
Cold weather in the past few days has sadly gone from severe to deadly. While unusually high snowfall has disrupted the travel plans of millions of Americans, freezing temperatures have taken the lives of hundreds of people from Central Europe to South Asia. The BBC reports that in Poland, 49 people have died; in Ukraine, 83; in Russia, 88; and in India, at least 93. The majority of those dead are the elderly and the homeless.
Besides being an obvious tragedy for many across the world, this is a reminder that “weather” is not “climate,” unless it suits the needs of environmental hotheads to claim that it is. When there’s a hot spell or a dry spell or a wet spell that can somehow be connected with the climate change narrative, the media resounds with panicky warnings. But when people die of frostbite in Punjab and temperatures hit -58F in Russia, the silence of the alarmists is deafening.
In the past few years we’ve seen climate change blamed for hot weather, for floods and for droughts. It’s been blamed for both the presence and the absence of storms. It’s been blamed for excessive snow as well as for the absence of snow. We don’t blame the smart greens for these recurring epidemics of media foolishness, but we wish they did more to focus the public discussion on practicalities and realities.
For the record, Via Meadia accepts the scientific evidence pointing to rising temperatures around the world. But we remain deeply skeptical that the nostrums proposed by green activists offer much in the way of practical steps, and the more green policies we see that fail due to ‘unexpected’ complications the less confidence we have.
More significantly, we’ve seen how the press selectively conflates weather and climate to advance a predetermined narrative. As they do in so many areas. I think it’s because they’re insufficiently diverse, like the all-white New York Magazine.
UNEXPECTEDLY: U.S. retailers scramble after lackluster holiday sales. “The 2012 holiday season may have been the worst for retailers since the 2008 financial crisis, with sales growth far below expectations, forcing many to offer massive post-Christmas discounts in hopes of shedding excess inventory.”
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall. “Not one of them has a four-year degree. Only one is still studying full time, and two have crushing debts. Angelica, who left Emory owing more than $60,000, is a clerk in a Galveston furniture store. . . . even after accounting for financial aid, the costs of attending a public university have risen 60 percent in the past two decades. Many low-income students, feeling the need to help out at home, are deterred by the thought of years of lost wages and piles of debt.”
Go to college, but don’t borrow money to do it. Plus this: “The growing role of class in academic success has taken experts by surprise since it follows decades of equal opportunity efforts and counters racial trends, where differences have narrowed.” Unexpectedly!
IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, you should read Matt Lewis’s column in The Week about how the media should be ashamed of their Sandy Hook shooting coverage.
But aside from the “Death Porn,” as some have called it, there’s also the instinct toward moral bullying and control coupled with appalling ignorance that was demonstrated by Rupert Murdoch and Mark Shields, both of whom seem to think that any American can just waltz up and buy a machine gun at the drop of a hat. Perhaps Murdoch’s ignorance is excusable because he’s a foreigner — though if he wants to use that as an excuse, he might also want to butt out until he learns something about the country he’s criticizing — but Shields’ excuse is . . . what, exactly? Senility?
CRITICIZING THE “DEATH PORN MEDIA.”
A POLITICAL FLEET-IN-BEING: So one of John Kerry’s roadblocks in being named Secretary of State is a fear that Scott Brown might take the seat from the Democrats. And Tennessee’s Gov. Bill Haslam showed unexpected backbone on the ObamaCare exchanges because he feared a Tea Party challenge in 2014. Even the credible threat of political challenge can affect behavior. Worth keeping in mind.
UNEXPECTEDLY: US Manufacturing Declines in November: ISM Index. “U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in November, falling to its lowest in over three years in a sign the sector may be struggling to gain traction, according to an industry report released on Monday.” Funny, there was no sign of this before the election. . . .
On the other hand, there’s this: Knoxville One Of Just Three U.S. Cities In Recovery From Recession.
UNEXPECTEDLY! New home sales stagnant, cast shadow on housing. “New U.S. single-family home sales fell slightly in October and sales for the prior month were revised sharply lower, casting a faint shadow over one of the brighter spots in the U.S. economy.” Funny that the prior month’s numbers were “revised sharply lower” after the election.
UNEXPECTEDLY! Obama hits the links for post-Thanksgiving golf.
BUT IT’S ALL BECAUSE OF
THE JAPANESE TSUNAMI SANDY: Unexpectedly, Right After Election, Jobless Numbers Hit New High. “Sandy drove the number of people seeking unemployment benefits up to a seasonally adjusted 439,000 last week, the highest level in 18 months.”
UPDATE: Mocking the Sandy excuse.
NEW YORK POST: “An unexpectedly defensive President Obama yesterday dared Capitol Hill Republicans to ‘go after me’ on the Benghazi consulate intelligence debacle.” Didn’t Gary Hart once say something like that? Plus:
Here’s hoping the debate begins with a dissection of Obama’s admission that Rice’s dishonest post-Benghazi appearances on TV talk shows were made “at the request of the White House.”
That’s when she repeated the already-discredited line that Benghazi was a “spontaneous” attack fueled by an Internet video.
The president accused McCain and Graham of seeking to “besmirch her reputation” — which is a little silly, given the job she herself has done of it.
Senators have an obligation to hold to account any top official who lies to the country — or who serves as a transmission line for false information.
All this eclipsed news that former CIA Director David Petraeus has reversed course and agreed to testify under oath about his undercover post-attack fact-finding trip to Benghazi.
The retired four-star general also blamed Benghazi on the video — in front of Congress, no less! — although he certainly had to have known better.
This time, he will be under oath, and lawmakers need to wring the full truth out of him. Of course, whether his own personal drama played any role in his earlier, misleading, testimony must be explored, as well.
Benghazi is important in its own right — by all accounts it represented a grave US intelligence failure.
Equally critical is the likelihood — near certainty, actually — that the murders of four Americans were politicized to serve Obama’s re-election campaign.
Indeed. And a filmmaker is in jail as a scapegoat.
WELL, I CERTAINLY WOULDN’T HAVE EXPECTED IT: WWII Nazi’s Tank Manuals: Unexpectedly Hilarious! Though “hilarious” is a bit strong. “Amusing,” maybe.
UNEXPECTEDLY: PETA unintentionally red-lines the irony meter: “PETA Thanksgiving billboard asks kids: Would you eat your dog?”
Well, it does seem like a viable first step for any young man on the path to the presidency days.
AN UNEXPECTED parade of events.
SOME ADVICE FOR BUSH: Jonah Goldberg warns that the Republicans need to avoid overreaching, as Republicans have done in the past when things went unexpectedly well. (I linked to a similar warning from John Ellis earlier today). Democrats and their friends in the media, after all, will be waiting to pounce on anything that will let them paint the Republicans as corrupt pawns of greedy big business.
I think he’s right, and in particular I think that the Bush Administration needs to do something dramatic that will position it on the side of consumers against Evil Big Business. And I have just the thing: The Bush Administration should take on the crooks and thugs of the recording and movie industries. And it should do so on the side of artists and consumers.
It’s widely believed that the recording industry shafts its artists. As Ken Layne has pointed out, when 9,000 artist accounts were audited, 8,999 were found to have involved underpayments to the artists. Artist retirement funds have been underfunded, too — sometimes to ridiculous levels. And the record companies recently settled a price-fixing suit brought by state attorneys general.
Meanwhile the entertainment industries are trying to take control of people’s computers, televisions, and stereos. Consumers are gouged for ticket prices, radio is ruined by payola and other shady practices, and pretty much everyone knows that the whole industry is rotten to the core. (Heck, it was the topic of the very first post on InstaPundit). And by siding with artists, the Administration will be able to split an industry that’s usually united against the Republicans right down the middle. And voters identify with actors and musicians much more than with the suits who run the record and movie industries.
By taking on this big business that everyone has come to hate, the Bush Administration can position itself as a tribune of the people against greedy corporate interests. (And make media assaults on the Administration easy to discount as a self-interested response to its efforts to enforce the law). That they happen to be greedy corporate interests that give generously to Democrats will only make it more appealing.
This was good advice ten years ago after an unexpectedly large GOP victory. It’s good advice today after a GOP defeat. But will it happen? Experience says not, because Republicans can’t seem to bring themselves to go after big business, even big business that hates them.
EXPECT MORE OF THE UNEXPECTEDLY: Hey, look on the bright side: it will be fun to continue seeing all bad economic news reported as “unexpectedly” in the MSM for another four years.
A TALE OF TWO CANDIDATES:
UPDATE: Related videos at Hugh Hewitt’s Website.
MORE: If Romney goes on to win on Tuesday, the above video will be seen as his equivalent of Ronald Reagan saying to Jimmy Carter — just a few days before his own “unexpected” election — “There you go again.” In both cases, they were a gentle and positive way for the challenger to remind the American public that the president they elected in good faith, based on a groundswell of media-generated frenzy four years prior, under the auspices of “Change” and a new tone, were, underneath it all, mean-spirited, punitive liberals.
During a speech in Springfield, Ohio today, the president ad libbed a remark when his supporters started booing Mitt Romney: “No, no, no — don’t boo, vote,” Obama said. That’s his standard response to booing at his rallies. But then he added this: “Vote! Voting is the best revenge.”
THE BLOOMBERG SYNDROME: In January of 2011, when New York had just dug itself out from under a couple feet of white powdery global warming, Victor Davis Hanson wrote:
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was a past master of lecturing about the cosmic while at times ignoring the more concrete. Governing the boroughs of an often-chaotic New York City is nearly impossible. Pontificating on the evils of smoking, fatty foods, and supposed anti-Muslim bigotry was not only far easier but had established the mayor as a national figure of sensitivity and caring. He was praised for his progressive declarations by supporters of everything from global warming to abortion.
But Bloomberg’s carefully constructed philosopher’s image was finally shattered by the December 2010 blizzard and his own asleep-at-the-wheel reaction. An incompetent municipal response to record snowfalls barricaded millions in their borough houses and apartments, amid lurid rumors of deliberate union-sponsored slowdowns by Bloomberg’s city crews.
* * * * *
Quite simply, the next time your elected local or state official holds a press conference about global warming, the Middle East, or the national political climate, expect to experience poor county law enforcement, bad municipal services, or regional insolvency.
His namesake news service has seen all bad economic news since January of 2009 as occurring “unexpectedly,” but nobody else should be surprised by Bloomberg’s shtick this week, or that his cosmic rhetoric belies an incompetence in regards to more down to earth matters.
On the other hand, as Jonah Goldberg wrote today, Bloomberg is making baby steps of a sort: “Well, at least he didn’t blame Sandy on some guy with a political agenda who doesn’t like the health care bill or something.”
UNEXPECTEDLY: Military Ballots Are Still a Problem.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Non-shocker of the day: September jobs data revised by half.
WHY LIBERALS THINK WHAT THEY DO, as explored by Victor Davis Hanson:
Anger, envy, and the primordial emotions
For some, especially those who are well-educated and well-spoken, a sort of irrational furor at “the system” governs their political make-up. Why don’t degrees and vocabulary always translate into big money? Why does sophisticated pontification at Starbucks earn less than mindlessly doing accounting behind a desk? We saw this tension with Michelle Obama who, prior to 2009, did not quite have enough capital to get to Aspen or Costa del Sol, and thereby, despite the huge power-couple salaries, Chicago mansion, and career titles, felt that others had far too much more than the Obamas. “Never been proud,” “downright mean country,” “raise the bar,” etc., followed, as expressions of yuppie angst. The more one gets, the more one believes he should get even more, and the angrier he gets that another — less charismatic, less well-read, less well-spoken — always seems to get more.
So do not discount the envy of the sophisticated elite. The unread coal plant manager, the crass car dealer, or the clueless mind who farms 1000 acres of almonds should not make more than the sociology professor, the kindergarten teacher, the writer, the artist, or the foundation officer. What sort of system would allow the dense and easily fooled to become better compensated (and all for what — for superfluous jet skis and snowmobiles?) than the anguished musician or tortured-soul artist, who gives so much to us and receives so much less in return? What a sick country — when someone who brings chain saws into the Sierra would make more than a UC Berkeley professor who would stop them.
You can see that mindset hard at work in this angry and punitive Tweet from Robert Reich:
Will we comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable under President Obama, or do the exact opposite under President Romney?
I missed the section of the Constitution that calls for the government to afflict the comfortable — but I bet Mr. Obama can find it.
(Incidentally, isn’t it journalism’s self-designated role to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable?” Though that’s a task that the industry seemed to “unexpectedly” begin to forget, starting in 2008.)
UNEXPECTEDLY: Obamacare Is Even More Unpopular Now than in 2010.
(Via Maggie’s Farm, which has loads more links today.)
UNEXPECTEDLY: Chick-fil-A thrives despite gay rights issue. “There was a lot of talk that this would hurt Chick-fil-A, but it actually helped the brand. . . . They were saying to their core constituency: Here’s what we believe.”
EPISTEMIC CLOSURE: NBC’s Brian Williams Can’t Understand Why Obama Isn’t Winning by a Landslide.
Yet another “unexpected” moment from the MSM. But hey, we were told that “No one understands this NASCAR nation more than Brian,” according to then NBC president Jeff Zucker back in early November of 2004 in USA Today, when Williams replaced Tom Brokaw.
(Only a few days after John Kerry channeled a very different NBC employee.)
CBS BUSTS OBAMA — AND ITSELF — IN BENGHAZI COVER-UP:
CBS News has released a clip of an interview by Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes on Sep. 12 with President Barack Obama that indicates Obama knew the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was a premeditated terror attack–and suggests the White House later deceived the public by blaming protests against an anti-Islam video. CBS chose not to air the clip for over a month–but did air Obama’s attack on Romney that same night.
Obama told Kroft that the attack in Benghazi was different from the violent protest at the U.S. embassy in Cairo: “You’re right that this is not a situation that was exactly the same as what happened in Egypt, and my suspicion is, is that there are folks involved in this who were looking to target Americans from the start.”
Obama’s remarks pointed towards a premeditated attack, in contrast to the story the White House went on to tell for weeks.
CBS chose not to air that portion of the interview with President Obama–not even in the days and weeks that followed, when it was highly relevant–first to the question of the nature of the Benghazi attack, then to the question of whether the president had in fact called it an act of terror from the start.
But then, the MSM has a long history of burying Mr. Obama’s “unexpectedly” damaging statements, rather than actually using them to break news.
OBAMA’S AURA OF DEFEAT: It’s not quite a pre-postmortem, given that Ross Douthat was hired to play the role of the New York Times’ token conservative, but still:
Now this is not a normal re-election campaign. When incumbent president win, they usually expand their original majorities, but barring a completely unexpected polling shift, Obama’s 2008 majority will shrink no matter what. He’s been running a heavily negative campaign from the beginning, and the late-game approach has only accentuated aspects of the White House’s strategy (the focus on social issues, the quest for “shiny objects” — hey, bayonets! — to change the subject from the economy, etc.) that have been present all along. What the press has read as signs of “Joe the Plumber”-esque desperation over the last few weeks may not be signs of an impending defeat; it may just be the way that Obama has to win, if win he does. But if so, it won’t look like the winning re-election campaigns we’ve seen in the recent past, and that reporters have grown accustomed to covering.
Meanwhile, at Power Line, Paul Mirengoff writes, “If President Obama loses this election, the Democrats will need a scapegoat.” And he’s got one in mind — thanks to the pre-postmortem by the liberal Times journalist that Douthat references in the above link.
RELATED: From Ron Radosh: How Liberals and Democrats are Spinning a Possible Romney Victory, Before the Election!
DO WE BELIEVE ANYMORE? “We live in an age of disbelief, in which citizens increasingly do not believe what their government says or, for that matter, what is accepted as true by popular culture,” Victor Davis Hanson writes in his weekly PJM column.
In the 1960s, the left insisted that we “Question Authority.” Now that the reactionary left is authority – ancient, sclerotic, calcified though it may be, they seem to be having second thoughts about that notion.
Unexpectedly, of course.
FRANK WILSON: In The Age of “Unexpectedly.”
SOMEONE TELL THE PRESIDENT: Chinese paratroopers storm island during mass exercise.
A recent joint exercise by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is caught on camera, as the world’s largest military force mounts a show of strength in response to mounting tension with Japan over disputed islands.
Apparently a weakened US does NOT mean peace on Earth. — Unexpectedly!
UNEXPECTEDLY: Global Warming Stopped Sixteen Years Ago. RELATED, IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT: The Coming of the New Ice Age: End of the Global Warming Era? And yeah, the ice age thing was in my books in middle school and it’s why I’ve never taken AGW seriously. Opposing trends shouldn’t have exactly the same proposed remedy. Unless the hot/cold stuff is an excuse to drag us into socialism and scarcity.
UNEXPECTEDLY! “Attacks in Libya become unexpected weak spot for Obama campaign,” bleats this L.A. Times headline.
Amazing how much bad news has unexpectedly become “unexpected” to the MSM since January of 2009, isn’t it?
NEW CIVILITY WATCH: New tone? Despicable lefties fantasize about ‘hate f**king’ Paul Ryan.
For an ideology whose buzzwords are peace, tolerance, diversity and coexistence, the left sure seems rather “unexpectedly” obsessed with “hate f***ing” its enemies, doesn’t it?
Even CNN’s Gloria Borger admits, “He was condescending at times to Paul Ryan. I think I could have done with a lot less eye-rolling and chuckling on the part of Joe Biden.”
Meanwhile, Ace adds, “This debate will not strongly impact the race, but note that Ryan — the crazy extremist who wants to kill your grandparents — is viewed as likable by more than a majority of the public, whereas Biden has… the Democratic Client System base.”
Love the photo atop his post.
UPDATE: On the other hand, “MSNBC Call Biden Out Over Lie About Libya Security Requests” — “Good heavens, when Andrea Mitchell is calling the Obama administration out, you know they’ve gone too far.”
UNDERBUSSING REDUX: As Glenn noted earlier, the Obama camp has been reduced to calling liberal bloggers the “Tinfoil Hat Crowd.”
Recall in late August of 2010, when the White House knew their party was flailing away before the midterms, they unloaded on “The Professional Left” — i.e., core liberals who originally put them in power:
The White House is simmering with anger at criticism from liberals who say President Obama is more concerned with deal-making than ideological purity.
During an interview with The Hill in his West Wing office, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs blasted liberal naysayers, whom he said would never regard anything the president did as good enough.
“I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.”
The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.”
Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”
Curiously, this was dubbed an “unexpected” development by the Huffington Post at the time. Perhaps they simply needed to watch more PJTV:
WASHINGTON DC – Engaged a relentless battle against time and fatigue, a select group of message scientists assembled by the White House’s Center for Narrative Control say they will take “all steps necessary” to contain a recent outbreak of scrutonium, a deadly poll-eating supervirus that attacks the immuno-hope system, leaving victims vulnerable to material facts.
“Failure is simply not an option,” said an exhausted Mission Chief David Axelrod. “If left unchecked, this virus may actually force us to move back to Chicago.”
The recent re-infection of scrutonium into the body politic has been a harrowing turn of fortune for Axlerod and his scientific team. In November 2008, they had declared scrutonium “all but extinct,” although they kept small amounts of the strain for use in laboratory experiments with Republican tax returns. It was thought to be in containment as recently as five weeks ago, with scientists citing poll results showing resistance to doses of unemployment previously considered fatal.
All that changed on September 12 after an unexpected outbreak in Benghazi, Libya. Although it caught Axlerod and his team by surprise, they were temporarily able to keep it under control with a regimen of YouTube blame therapy and gaffe-meme injections. But the new Benghazi strain proved stubbornly resistant, and has continued to slowly spread.
But when will legendary conservative’s conservative T Coddington Van Voorhees VII finally see the light of the day and endorse Romney?
UNEXPECTEDLY: Mike Huckabee: Media ignoring gas prices.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Military Times poll results “indicate that about 66 percent of those surveyed support Romney, compared with about 26 percent who say they will vote to re-elect President Obama.”
“Economy, not military issues, tops concerns,” the article adds.
DEMOCRATS GONE WILD: Obama supporters ‘key’ cars displaying pro-Romney bumper stickers.
Time to update the logo and dust off this T-shirt slogan, which was “unexpectedly” popular in the fall of 2004:
UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Flashback: My reporting from the bullet-riddled Bush-Cheney headquarters in 2004.
FAST WORK FROM ROMNEY WORLD: Joe Biden’s unexpected endorsement of their campaign yesterday — “The middle class has been buried for the the last four years!” — is already being featured in their campaign videos.
UPDATE: In Honor of Biden, Romney Campaign Releases ‘Honest Joe’ T-Shirt — and Jay Leno was goofing on Biden’s gaffe last night as well.
WEAK HORSE: Hunt for Obama’s Middle East Policy Comes Up Empty, Jeffrey Goldberg writes at Bloomberg News:
Yet all we have from Obama is passivity, which is a recurring theme in the administration’s approach to the Middle East. So is “aggressive hedging,” a term used by the Brookings Institution’s Shadi Hamid to describe Obama’s strange reluctance to clearly choose sides in the uprisings of the Arab Spring.
“There’s a widespread perception in the region that Obama is a weak, somewhat feckless president,” Hamid, who runs the Brookings Doha Center, told me. “Bush may have been hated, but he was also feared, and what we’ve learned in the Middle East is that fear, sometimes at least, can be a good thing. Obama’s aggressive hedging has alienated both sides of the Arab divide. Autocrats, particularly in the Gulf, think Obama naively supports Arab revolutionaries, while Arab protesters and revolutionaries seem to think the opposite.”
Leaders across the Middle East don’t take Obama’s threats seriously. Neither Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor the Arab leaders of the Gulf countries believe he’ll act militarily against Iran’s nuclear program in his second term.
“When a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill or be killed — that’s slavery,” Obama said in a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative. “It is barbaric, and it is evil, and it has no place in a civilized world. Now, as a nation, we’ve long rejected such cruelty.”
But for the third year in a row, Obama has waived almost all U.S. sanctions that would punish certain countries that use child soldiers, upsetting many in the human rights community.
None of which should seem very “unexpectedly” at this point — even to Bloomberg.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT LAST NIGHT: 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” reluctant to discuss?
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?
UNEXPECTEDLY REDUX: To follow up on Glenn’s post earlier today on Bloomberg’s latest “Unexpectedly” moment, this time involving business activity shrinking in the US for the first time since 2009, it’s amazing how much bad economic news happens so “unexpectedly” these days, isn’t it?
But then, hasn’t everyone but the legacy media learned to “Expect the ‘Unexpectedly,’” as Jim Geraghty quipped last year?
UNEXPECTEDLY! Business Activity in U.S. Shrinks for First Time Since 2009. “Business activity in the U.S. unexpectedly contracted in September for the first time in three years, adding to signs manufacturing will contribute less to the economic recovery. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today its business barometer fell 49.7 this month from 53 in August. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction.”
No word yet on Chris’s thoughts on this achievement, but no doubt, they would be along the lines of “it reminds me of the 1930s in another country,” and/or comparing the MRC to the Khmer Rouge or the North Koreans. I only hope that someday, he evolves.
HIDE THE DECLINE: “More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday,” according to Reuters.
So today’s “unexpectedly” horrid economic report is actually good news, right Senators Kerry and McCaskill?
Meanwhile, from lefty blogger and JournoList member Greg Sargent at the Washington Post, another “unexpectedly” today, this time involving “An unexpectedly ideological presidential election.”
UPDATE: For those who’d prefer a swanky Continental version of the same theme, Bloomberg is happy to oblige as well today: “Euro-Area Economic Confidence Unexpectedly Fell in September.”
THEY WOULDN’T BUILD THAT BUSINESS: “55 percent of small business owners would not start company today, blame Obama.”
UNEXPECTEDLY: Obama Campaign’s Flag Poster No Longer Appears In Store.
Looking at the above juxtaposition, I can’t understand at all why they’d pull that from the shelves. But then, pages have a tendency to disappear themselves from Obama Websites at purely random intervals for no apparent reason at all.
THE WORLD’S BIGGEST CELEBRITY: Chris Wallace Asks Obama Adviser ‘President Has Time for Whoopi Goldberg But Not World Leaders?’
This isn’t exactly “unexpectedly,” of course.
(What is unexpected for me is the opportunity to sit in at Instapundit once again — a big thanks to the Professor for the opportunity.)
UNEXPECTEDLY! More Americans Than Forecast Filed Jobless Claims Last Week. “Jobless claims decreased by 3,000 in the week ended Sept. 15 to 382,000, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected 375,000.” And if history is any guide, they’ll be revised upward next week.
UPDATE: More: “Today’s initial claims print was the 5th week out of 6 in which expectations missed: instead of coming in at the consensus number of 375K, down from last week’s 382K, the BLS reported a miss to expectations of 7K, resulting in a seasonally adjusted number of 382K, or what is now once again secular shift higher. But, wait big miss was actually good news: why? Because the ever data-massaging BLS was kind enough to revise last week’s print upward (for the 86th week in a row) from 382K to 385K (just as we predicted last week) which in turn led to such farcical headlines as U.S. weekly jobless claims drop slightly to 382,000 from the WSJ.” Yeah, this pattern with the revisions is so consistent, it’s almost suspicious. Note the damning graph on headlines vs. revisions at the link.
MICHAEL WALSH: Mitt Romney’s Gettysburg Moment. “Mitt Romney found himself in an unexpected place last night — in the public eye. He ought to make the most of it.”
Hey, the only way Mitt can get any press is if he can convince them that he’s committed a gaffe. Since this is a story that actually helps him, but that the press is dumb enough to think looks like a gaffe, I suspect the campaign was behind it, somehow.
And isn’t it rich that the video was shot by Jimmy Carter’s currently-unemployed grandson? That’s how bad the Obama economy has gotten. . . .
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Recovery Faltering as Corporate Profits Fall. “Here’s some more bad news for the economy: analysts are predicting that corporate profits may fall this quarter for the first time in three years. This comes as a bit of a surprise.”
It’s almost . . . unexpected!
PAUL RAHE: “It used to be the case that a diplomat was an honorable man who went abroad to lie for his country. In the Age of Obama, a diplomat is a dishonorable woman who goes on television to lie for her President.”
Related: Victor Davis Hanson: Obama’s Middle East Delusions. Love the graphic.
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): EMPIRE FED PLUNGES TO -10.41 (-2.00 EXPECTED). “The Empire Fed manufacturing index fell to -10.41 versus expectations of a -2.00 reading and a prior reading last month of -5.85. New orders tumbled to -14.0 from -5.0 last month. . . .The employment index fell to 4.3. . . . Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast the key business activity index will rebound to -2.00 from its August reading of -5.85. A reading above zero indicates expansion.”
THE GOOD NEWS FOR OBAMA IS THAT THE EMBASSY ATTACKS WILL DISTRACT PEOPLE FROM THIS BAD ECONOMIC NEWS: Jobless Claims in U.S. Rose More Than Forecast Last Week. “The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits rose more than projected last week, showing scant improvement on the outlook for jobs. Jobless claims increased 15,000 in the week ended Sept. 8, the biggest gain in almost two months, to 382,000, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 370,000 claims. . . . The jobless rate has been stuck above 8 percent since February 2009, the longest stretch in monthly records going back to 1948.” Unexpectedly!
How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya?
UPDATE: Hey, wait a minute: “October 2008 in Pennsylvania: ‘A little bit of rain never hurt anybody’.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Kevin Hedges writes:
The Democrats should have no problem at all proving that Obama’s speech was moved indoors due to the weather and not due to poor turnout. All they need to do is point to the 50,000 convention-goers who would have attended the speech but now can’t. My guess is that most of them are from Milwaukee.
I must say, I have read your blog over the years for the variety of links, but I’m loving all the jokes lately. Granted, it’s the material, but still.
It’s a target-rich environment.
MORE: Limbaugh laughs.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Jobless Claims Remain At One-Month High: “More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that progress in the labor market is faltering amid a slowing economy. . . . Jobless claims were little changed at 374,000 in the week ended Aug. 25, matching the upwardly revised figure from the prior week, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 370,000. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, climbed to a six-week high.” Expect this week’s numbers to be revised upward later. That seems to happen every time.
HOW TO TEACH A ROBOT TO IMPROVISE. “Self-piloted drones have become sophisticated enough to land on moving aircraft carriers, but put a single unexpected tree in the way, and they will crash. Now a five-university group that includes specialists in biology, computer vision and robotics is trying to teach drones to dodge obstacles on the fly. Working with $7.5 million from the Office of Naval Research, the scientists aim to build an autonomous, fixed-wing surveillance drone that can navigate through an unfamiliar city or forest at 35 miles an hour.”
If there’s a tree in your way while you attempt a carrier landing, I think being taken aback is entirely understandable.
UPDATE: Broken link now fixed.
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Consumer Confidence Tumbles to 9-Month Low. Unexpectedly!
HARVARD LAW SCHOOL IS NOT COVERING ITSELF WITH GLORY THESE DAYS: Liz Warren Taking The Low Road.
Does Liz Warren really believe that Scott Brown is pro-rape? Or wants to somehow “redefine rape” in a way that would hurt women or benefit racists?
Of course not.
But is Liz Warren willing to smear Scott Brown by suggesting he’d do all this — and more — as part of a “war on women?”
She already has. . . . This is how low Liz Warren is willing to go, how much of her own dignity she’s willing to destroy, just to — as her campaign put it in a fundraising mailer — “win back Ted Kennedy’s seat.”
Ah, yes, Ted Kennedy. The exemplar of the virtuous treatment of women . . .
The self-proclaimed intellectual force behind the Occupy movement needs to step up and take responsibility for all the Occupy rapes, then. Maybe some of the fiercely independent Massachusetts press corps will raise this with her.
UPDATE: Reader Paul Jackson writes: “Guess who’s writing her speech for the Dem convention? A cartoon character from Doonesbury (yes, that comic strip still appears, albeit on the editorial page, of my Baltimore Sun). Pretty much sums up how she’s run her campaign so far doesn’t it? The storyline has been running for about a week now and I haven’t seen a word about her Occupy rhetoric or alleged Indian lineage. I guess Trudeau gets all his news from the NYT and other traditional media outlets and is unaware of her campaign’s struggles.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Ho hum. Another Democrat shiny object. “The Democrats, in the midst of a Medicare battle that is giving them unexpected trouble and a welfare mess of their own making, are scrambling to raise what Democrats like to call ‘wedge’ issues when Republicans bring them up. It is reminiscent of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s 17-point win, when the Democrats and much of the media wanted to talk about McDonnell’s school thesis (I kid you not) on social issues. What mesmerizes Democratic elites is often irrelevant to actual voters.”
OKAY, THIS IS A VERY COOL STORY. And I totally agree with his objection to the iPad vs. the computer.