When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, he designed it to be a nicer place than the real world. People you barely know are “friends”; people you have drinks with now and then, “close friends.” You get a notification if someone deems you a friend, but if they later think better of it and delete you, you’ll never know about it. You can approve of anything anyone does with the click of a button, but to register disapproval, you need to resort to words. And so on.
Sanding away the spiky bits of human interaction was a canny way of getting people to do all sorts of things online that they might feel uncomfortable doing in a non-virtual crowd — sharing baby photos, talking about surgeries and deaths in the family, bragging about their charitable work. But it appears not to have been a good method of getting them to have hard conversations about politics.
Earlier this week, the Pew Research Internet Project published a study about the so-called “spiral of silence” as it applies in social media. That terms describes the tendency people have to keep their opinions to themselves when they believe listeners are likely to disagree with them.
This is some alternative universe stuff here. I’m pretty sure the first MySpace user after Tom posted, “The president sucks!” as soon as he or she could. If anything, social media seems to encourage people who have never paid attention to politics between election days to weigh in on everything from the tax code to complex foreign policy issues. True, when I say “weigh in” I mean “belch up a talking point heard on television,” but, still, they’re definitely not shy about it. Actually, I’m still waiting to meet the one person on Twitter or Facebook who shuts up about controversial issues. It’s sort of a personal quest. I may quit the Internet when I do.
Also, the fact that Zuckerberg wanted social media to be nicer than the real world shows that one can become a billionaire even while completely failing at one’s objective.
Because it’s nasty out there.
In the wake of criticism over a two-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, the NFL has established a six-game unpaid ban for personnel who violate the league’s policy on domestic violence, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday.
A second incident would be punished by a lifetime ban from the league, Goodell said in a letter and memo to the owners of the league’s 32 teams.
Without referring to Rice by name, he acknowledged in his letter that he made the wrong decision in that case.
“I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will,” he wrote.
Goodell has been trying to destroy football with an almost missionary zeal. While busy attempting to remove almost all on-field violence from an inherently violent game, he’s pretty much ignored the off-field variety. When Rice received a two game joke of a suspension in the midst of the league doling out much harsher punishments for substance abuse, even the most devout football fans (“Present.”) were appalled.
Hopefully, the threat of a lifetime ban for a second violation will give this policy some teeth.
Dare I say…hope?
It’s payback time for the Golden State, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed off Wednesday on blockbuster legislation that super-sizes California’s TV and film tax credit bill.
“This will send a message to the entertainment industry and all of the other states and countries that California is open for business, and in a big way,” one of the bill’s authors, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, told TheWrap. “We hope they’ll realize the folly of trying to create artificial competition to try to steal our jobs, and that this will return the industry for good.”
The measure calls for $330 million in incentives to be allocated to TV and movie producers — more than tripling the current $100 million that’s available — and means that the state can strike back at the numerous states and countries that have gutted one of California’s signature industries by luring projects with juicy tax breaks over the past decade. Funding would begin in fiscal year 2015-2016 and run through fiscal year 2018-2019.
Yes, there is a larger conversation to be had about the business climate that forced the state’s signature industry to flee (much of it to Canada) in the first place but…baby steps. Some may see this as a band-aid but it is more like pressure on a hemorrhaging artery. Let’s get this done first and take the necessary steps after.
New York City was in a similar predicament in the early 1990s, for pretty much the same reason. Film and television production had almost completely stopped. City officials and labor unions worked together to bring business back and had great success.
California has been doing things poorly for so long, it will be a relief to one day get it back to doing the thing it’s best at.
The day after Mitt Romney opened the door to another possible presidential run, a new poll shows he has a huge lead among likely 2016 Iowa Republican caucus voters.
According to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Wednesday, 35 percent of likely GOP caucus voters would vote for the 2012 GOP nominee in 2016. When Romney’s name was added to the pool, no other candidate received double-digit votes.
The survey comes as rumors have begun to swirl about a potential Romney bid for president in 2016. After months of insisting that he will not run again, the former Massachusetts governor on Tuesday acknowledged that “circumstances can change.”
When I talk to Republicans who aren’t opposed to the idea of Romney 3.0, their arguments are usually that “he’s a nice guy” and “he would have done a much better job than Obama is doing now.”
Both are true. Both are also irrelevant.
We’re voting for the leader of the free world and a commander in chief when we vote for president, not a drinking buddy. Whether he or she is “nice” shouldn’t play into the decision.
As to the second point, there is a hummingbird who is often outside my window when I write that would have done a better job than Obama is doing. In fact, the list of people who fit that description is overwhelmingly lengthy.
There was, however, one thing Romney couldn’t do better than Barack Obama: run for president.
Maybe it’s because he was a nice guy, but Romney was a lousy candidate. He had one good debate, and that was due more to Obama’s arrogance and lack of preparation. The press was caught rather flat-footed for that one too. Both the president and his MSM minions made sure that didn’t happen again and Mitt was pretty much defeated by Candy Crowley.
The press would love to see Mitt run again because they know he’ll seem invincible all through the primaries and then nice guy his way to a drubbing in the general by Fauxcahontas.
Republicans never seem to be able to resist the candidates that the MSM won’t stop talking about. It’s their “Lucy promising she won’t pull the football away this time” and, bless their Charlie Brown hearts, they keep falling for it.
Democrats hear only one thing when Republicans talk about fighting President Barack Obama’s immigration agenda or GOP plans for controlling Congress: government shutdown.
In fundraising requests, media appearances and conference calls, Democrats are painting Republicans as the “shutdown party” just in time for the midterm elections that coincidentally hit right after the one-year anniversary of last year’s October shutdown.
Democrats hope this emerging strategy persuades voters that if Republicans win both the House and Senate in November, there will be more unpopular shutdowns and Obama will have to fight hard against the GOP to simply preserve the policy legacy of his first six years in office.
Because most of their policy ideas can’t be discussed honestly, Democrats forever resort to the “THIS IS WHAT THE SCARY REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO DO IF YOU VOTE FOR THEM!” strategy that has worked so well for them ever since they started saying the GOP wanted to “cut Medicare” way back when. There were never any cuts on the table, just reductions in the rate of increase but, hey, it stuck.
One of the reasons these things stick is because the average establishment Republican in Congress is too weak and/or stupid to refute the lies. In the case of the shutdown, the McCains and Boehners of the world have spent so much time whining about it in the last year that they have practically written this script for the Democrats.
It is more than understandable that the Democrats are going back to last fall for a talking point, what can they point to in 2014 that’s gone well for them? Obamacare? Foreign policy? The president’s approval ratings? This Halloween shutdown straw man is their best desperate shot.
Don’t be surprised if it works.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal filed suit on Wednesday against the Obama administration, arguing that it has coerced states into adopting Common Core education standards.
The move by the Republican governor, who is widely viewed as holding presidential aspirations, comes amid a backlash against the multistate standards that aim to boost critical-thinking skills and apply consistency to a patchwork of state guidelines.
“Common Core is the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C., in control of everything,” Jindal said in a statement.
Jindal was a supporter of the standards when his state was among 45 to enact them in 2010, but he has since characterized them as a federal attempt to control the curriculum taught in the nation’s schools.
While the standards were developed and implemented by states, the Obama administration encouraged their adoption through a competitive-grant program called Race to the Top, which gave money to cash-strapped states.
State programs incentivized by federal dollars aren’t state programs. Public education has become the biggest federal boondoggle masquerading as a collection of state programs in America. Common Core is a ruse to cement the states’ lips to the federal financial teat. It’s good to see that Jindal has not only come around on this but is seeing it for what it is.
North Carolina County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood blocked the state’s new school voucher program, saying it unconstitutionally diverted money from public education to private schools, some of them religious schools.
The state’s Opportunity Scholarship program, expands school choice in North Carolina by providing education scholarship grants of up to $4,200 per year for eligible children who choose to attend private school. The program is designed to give low-income families public funds to help pay private school tuition. It was passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature last year and had already begun operating.
About 5,500 students applied for the annual grants of up to $4,200 per child. More than 1,800 students were chosen by lottery have already accepted Opportunity Scholarships, but not all have enrolled in private schools.
Those supporting the so-called voucher program, say it offers low-income children a choice for a private-school education that better meets their individual needs after the public schools failed to do so. To be eligible, parents had to have their children enrolled in a public school and meet federal income requirements for their children to receive subsidized lunches.
The program was challenged in lawsuits by the N.C. Association of Educators and the N.C. Justice Center, a left-wing advocacy group, and the N.C. School Boards Association, which was joined by 71 of the state’s 115 school districts.
This is essentially a fight to keep doing an awful job and trap poor students in difficult situations. Of course, trapping the poor forever is the cornerstone of liberal politics so that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The leftist response on all matters of education is the one-note, “MORE MONEY!” cry.
There is no moral, or even economic, argument to be made to keep perennially under-performing schools as the only education options for poverty-stricken or at-risk youth.
Unless you’re a school administrator who needs some vacation money, right?
All schoolchildren from the age of seven should be offered sex education lessons to help them make “informed decisions” as they grow up, the Liberal Democrats have said.
David Laws, the Liberal Democrat schools minister, said that both primary and secondary schools should be required to provide sex and relationship education.
The Liberal Democrats want to lower the age at which children are given sex education lessons from 11 to seven, while extending the requirement to hold the classes to all free schools and academies. At present academies and free schools are exempt from having to hold the lessons, which Mr Laws warned is “depriving children of important life lessons”.
It is always worth watching what the socialist freaks are up to in Europe because American liberals slobber over all things Leftist across the pond.
This is one of those issues where I find myself completely overcome with incredulity over the fact that it even came up in the first place. Yes, children need to learn “important life lessons” but sex isn’t one of them at age seven. There is a reason that these things are phased in throughout childhood.
There is a disturbing tendency to hyper-sexualize children in society now. We frown upon cultures that marry kids off in arrangements all the while watching “Toddlers and Tiaras” and little girls painted up like Mardi Gras hookers. It’s time for people to resoundingly scream, “NO!”
The U.S. chief technology officer who oversaw the troubled rollout of Healthcare.gov is stepping down and moving into a new role recruiting top Silicon Valley talent into government, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday.
Todd Park, a successful tech entrepreneur who became a top advisor to President Barack Obama, will move to the West Coast as part of a White House team at the end of the month, the source said on condition of anonymity because the news has not been made public.
In his new role, Park will help channel ideas from the tech community, as well as keep government updated on how technology is evolving, the source added.
They do all of this with straight faces too. He is responsible for one of the more high profile screw-ups in the history of bureaucracy, which is quite an accomplishment. As a reward for being unable to marshal the vast resources of the federal government to execute a task the average college nerd to do for a few hundred bucks, Park will now be the guy looking for people who hopefully have more talent than he does.
What could go wrong?
Morocco said on Friday it had arrested two Islamic State jihadists who had been planning to leave for IS training camps in Syria and Iraq to prepare attacks at home.
The two, whose identities were not disclosed, “planned to receive military training” before taking action in Morocco, “under the Islamic State’s plans to expand its field of operations,” an interior ministry statement said.
While the world mostly twiddles its thumbs or completely buries its head in the sand, ISIS proceeds apace with its expansion plans. Thankfully, some officials are still working to thwart them.
Meanwhile, here is an interesting read on why Team Lightbringer insists on using “ISIL” instead of “ISIS”.
Unrest in Ferguson, Mo., continues to dominate America’s attention more than 10 days after Michael Brown was shot and killed in what was a little-known St. Louis suburb. Unrelenting social media dispatches and shocking images of aggressive police force have only intensified the spotlight as officials seek calm. Attorney General Eric Holder visited the local FBI field office Wednesday to discuss the investigation and meet with community leaders — Washington’s strongest step yet toward de-escalating drama.
But social networks like Twitter highlight tensions in the moment rather than calm them, with tweets and photos detailing the scene as things unfold in real time. Social media has captured public violence and the detainment of two Washington journalists last week, and tweets, Instagram photos and Vine videos broadcast images of looting and police aggression to the world. Mini dispatches from those near skirmishes involving protesters and police have played a critical role in shaping the news: The #Ferguson hashtag has been tweeted almost 8 million times this month, according to figures from Topsy, a Twitter analytics service.
I have started to write about this perhaps ten times in the last week. While I agree that social media isn’t doing much to calm things down, I am not sure it should be looked at as much of an instigator. Cable news is still cranking up the tension more than anything else. Americans are TV people and all of the caterwauling on Twitter and Facebook is usually a response to something that was just seen on CNN, Fox News or MSNBC. Yes, social media helps spread the collective angst quicker but it is television that delivers that angst at Level 10 to the public in the first place. Let’s be honest-Al Sharpton was unnecessarily ratcheting up racial tension decades before Twitter even existed.
In a blow to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s move to withdraw his state from Common Core education standards, a state judge on Tuesday blocked Jindal’s plan to scrap a key set of standardized tests due to be introduced in the coming school year.
Jindal’s push to ditch Common Core, announced in June and given teeth by his orders to scrap the multistate tests, came amid a backlash against the English and math standards aimed at boosting critical-thinking skills and unifying state guidelines.
Judge Todd Hernandez, in issuing a preliminary injunction against the governor in a lawsuit filed by Common Core backers that is awaiting trial, said plans to drop the tests, slated to serve as a must-pass benchmark for fourth-graders, had sowed uncertainty.
“The evidence is clear that this state of the unknown has caused anxiety and other harm to the parents, teachers, administrators and students in Louisiana,” he wrote.
My opening line about Jeb Bush may have been snark, but it was probably his high profile backing of Common Core that got Republicans like Jindal to back it in the first place. It would be nice if self-described conservative politicians would proceed from a position of skepticism regarding any federal involvement in a state’s business.
Or anything Jeb Bush thinks is a good idea.
The Iowa Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (PAC), guided by statewide grassroots input from 99 Iowa counties, has made their ‘Friend of Agriculture’ designations for the 2014 elections. Support of candidates seeking statewide and national offices this fall have been selected based on their support of Farm Bureau policy, voting record and support for Iowa’s rural communities.
“Actions matter,” said Decatur County farmer and IFBF PAC Chair, Lance Bell. “Our PAC takes great care evaluating the candidates’ track records and survey responses to determine who will support issues that directly impact our family farms, businesses and rural communities. We are proud that our process emphasizes Farm Bureau policies, not partisan politics. The fact that 99 counties participated in this process shows our members stand together and believe in supporting the men and women who understand the significance of agriculture in this state.”
Governor Terry Branstad earned the 2014 ‘Friend of Agriculture’ designation for supporting agriculture and rural Iowa. Governor Branstad is running for his sixth term as Governor of Iowa. Bill Northey, running for his third term as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, also earned the designation from the IFBF PAC. In the first open-seat Senate race in Iowa in 40 years, the ‘Friend of Agriculture’ designation goes to Joni Ernst.
Every little bit helps. This is still a very, very close race and it would easily be the biggest pick up for the Republicans on election night. I’ve been saying for weeks that if this race goes to the GOP the whole night could have a landslide feel to it.
On paper, and in reality, this seems like the kind of race Ernst should win in a cakewalk. We do, however, live in an era when Barack Obama was easily elected twice and we’re still not allowed to drug test at the polls.
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore sued Al Jazeera, the satellite network controlled by the Qatari royal family, over a $500 million deal to purchase his network, Current TV, according to filing in state court in Wilmington, Delaware.
“Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago,” David Boies, a lawyer for Gore, said in a statement today. “We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.”
Buying Gore’s channel and rebranding it gave Al Jazeera America access to about 43 million U.S. homes.
It really is difficult to pick a side here. Both are anti-American and have way too much money. The only real difference is that Al Jazeera is more open about the anti-American thing.
Either way, the terrorists will win here.
The Tea Party-backed U.S. Senate candidate defeated in the June Mississippi Republican primary filed a legal challenge contesting his loss on Thursday, days after his own party declined to look into his allegations of electoral misdeeds.
State Senator Chris McDaniel’s judicial petition to take up his complaint marks a new stage in a contest against incumbent Thad Cochran – once viewed nationally as a key test of Tea Party clout in challenging the Republican establishment.
“This challenge is not about the candidates,” McDaniel said in a written statement. “It is about the integrity of Mississippi’s election process.”
Since McDaniel’s loss to the six-term incumbent by roughly 7,700 votes in a June 24 runoff, his camp has insisted that he was done in largely by a cynical campaign to turn out black Democrats to vote against him.
McDaniel is asking a state court judge to review his complaint, which includes allegations of improper voting in the runoff by those who cast ballots in the Democratic primary earlier in June as well as the mishandling of election records by poll workers.
Anyone who has read more than three posts of mine know that I am not a huge fan of the Republican establishment. I wanted McDaniel to win this without going to a runoff because it would just wake up the Barbour/Cochran machine in Mississippi, which it did.
Most of what is going on now, however, seems to be so much flailing. Every time someone in the McDaniel camp says there is going to be a bombshell revelation it turns out to be varying degrees of nothingburger.
Most of the dismantling of the GOP hierarchy that needs to be done has to start at the party officials and money movers end of things, not so much with the elected officials. Neuter the Haley Barbours pulling strings behind the scenes and it becomes much easier to elect higher quality people to Congress.
This fight may end up making a point but I don’t know if anyone is putting money on McDaniel ending up on the ballot. He just seems to be caught up in something that he can’t stop.
A senior U.S. senator said on Thursday he has written to Hospira Inc and urged the drug and medical device maker not to move its tax domicile abroad to save on U.S. taxes.
Citing recent reports that Hospira plans to buy the medical nutrition unit of France’s Danone SA, Dick Durbin said in a statement he told Chief Executive Officer Michael Ball that Hospira should not “turn its back on American taxpayers and consumers by taking advantage of a tax loophole called ‘inversion.’”
The statement from the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate came amid growing concern in Washington with inversion transactions, which allow U.S. corporations to shift their tax home-base to a different country and cut their U.S. tax bills.
Of 52 inversions and similar deals done since 1983, 22 have occurred just since 2008, with 10 more being finalized and many more said to be in the works.
Hospira is based in Lake Forest, Illinois, Durbin’s home state. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.
Dickie D. was joined by Comrades Wyden, Levin and Schumer in expressing horror over the fact that U.S. companies will do whatever they legally can to minimize their tax burdens.
It’s pathetically amusing to see Big Tax advocates attempting to make a moral case for their backbreaking treatment of businesses and individuals. Sadly, until average Americans understand that these same lawmakers who want to bury big corporations with tax obligations will also do the same to individuals nothing will change.
The rematch between a career Air Force pilot and career bureaucrat in Arizona is shaping up to be a key opportunity for a GOP pick-up in the House of Representatives.
Republican challenger, retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally, is poised to unseat Democratic Representative Ron Barber in the all-important Arizona Congressional District Two race, a seat formerly held by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
McSally is the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, and the first to command a fighter squadron in combat in United States History. She’s tough — in 2001 – 2002, she sued Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in an effort to overturn a military policy requiring all U.S. servicewomen to wear a Muslim Abaya and headscarf when off base in Saudi Arabia.
She’s running with a focus the economy, government overreach, national security and leadership.
Congressman Barber worked for 30 years with the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities. In 2006 he began working for Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and was later named her district director.
In January of 2012, Giffords resigned from office after being seriously wounded in a shooting that claimed the lives of six people and wounded 13 others. Barber ran to fill Giffords seat, facing off against McSally in November of 2012.
Barber edged out McSally by less than 1% in a race that received little national attention. Given the current state of politics, conservatives see this as a race to invest time and money in this year.
Arizona is a Red state. Mitt Romney won it in 2014 by 9%, John McCain won it in 2008 by 8.5%, and George Bush won it by 10.5% in 2004. The Second Congressional district is not quite as red, with Romney narrowly winning the district in 2012.
That being said, the numbers are trending positive for McSally. Real Clear Politics showed the district as “Leaning Dem” in 2012 and now shows it a “Toss Up” in 2014.
I know the Senate is still the big prize for this year’s midterms but this is a race near and dear to my heart, as I am originally from southern Arizona. That part of the state has been drifting leftward for quite some time but this district isn’t really populated with progressives. Gabby Giffords used to be a Republican and was a relatively moderate Democrat. Barber rode a lot of sentiment into office but isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. He’s just a tool. This would be a wonderful GOP pick-up. Arizona’s House delegation is all it has as far as real conservative representation goes these days. John McCain is, well, John McCain and Jeff Flake has inexplicably been nothing but a “Mini Maverick” since succeeding Jon Kyl.
When Al Gore ran for president in 2000, he was battered continuously by the media for “not being comfortable in his own skin.”
But is Hillary any more comfortable in hers? Will she not do an appearance that might make her look candid, warm and appealing because she is not candid, warm and appealing?
We do not know. But give the potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate this, she did stay for the entire five minutes and 14 seconds of her bit last week. Which is more than can be said for one of the possible Republican candidates in 2016, Rand Paul.
While Paul has been getting some serious publicity recently, this also means he has been getting some serious scrutiny.
See what they did there? The headline seemed to be negative about Hillary (sometimes it seems as if these media hacks are meeting her for the first time), then they sneak in a little praise and-BOOM-it’s on to the Rand Paul bashing, kids!
In fact, a good chunk of the post is about Rand Paul. It’s almost as if Hillary is mentioned just so they can prop her up a bit.
As Paul has been more obvious about his 2016 intentions than any other Republican thus far, he has become the focus of the “Hillary Is Inevitable” press/PR machine. They’ve taken a break from explaining why the lunch meat Ted Cruz chooses for his sandwiches is a disruptive force in American politics to nitpicking Senator Paul’s every waking moment.
That still doesn’t take away from the fact that Hillary Clinton creeps a lot of people out. Many of them Democrats.
Robin Williams, who died Monday of an apparent suicide, was a brilliant comedian who had a progressive bent.
He was not known for being an activist environmentalist the way some in Hollywood are — but he appeared in a lot of movies with ecological themes, including “Happy Feet” 1 and 2 and “FernGully: The Last Rainforest.”
Williams took global warming seriously in the way only a great comic can. Back in 2002, he did this riff:
… And they say there is no global warming, but right now the North Pole is a pool. There’s things just floating away….
It is beyond global warming at this point. It is cooking.
It is 105 in the middle of the country and people come up going “Is it hot enough for you?”
“No I like sweat to be rolling down the crack of my ass like Niagara. I like my old man titties to lactate.”
And you see people in shorts and you’re going, “Please don’t wear those…. Oh please don’t put those on.”
A rational, compassionate human being doesn’t use a tragedy like this to make a political point. As many of us have pointed out over the years, climate change is a religious cult. These people know nothing but preaching their warped gospel.
I tweeted the following in response to something stupid that the Minnesota deputy GOP chair said last night, but it applies here as well:
Everything doesn’t have to be politicized.
— SteveK (@stephenkruiser) August 12, 2014
Leaders of a voter coalition contesting Florida’s congressional district boundaries are vowing to continue a court battle claiming that a new map approved on Monday fails to meet the state’s anti-gerrymandering rules.
“They’ve done this in a crafty way, to make sure the political result is not changed,” Tom Zehnder, an attorney for Common Cause, the League of Women Voters of Florida and some voters who challenged the current congressional districts, said of boundaries approved by state lawmakers along party lines on Monday.
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis, who threw out the existing map last month, has a hearing set for Aug. 20 to consider the new boundaries.
The Republican-run legislature made relatively minor adjustments to the districts of U.S. Representatives Corrine Brown, a Jacksonville Democrat, and Daniel Webster, a Republican from Winter Garden, whose districts Lewis ruled were in violation of the state’s constitutional ban on gerrymandering to protect incumbents or favor either party.
The leadership ignored a much different map submitted by Common Cause and the League of Women Voters, which would have reduced minority voter concentration in Brown’s Jacksonville-Orlando district, while adding many more Hispanic and black voters to Webster’s district in the Orlando area.
What they are really unhappy with is that the map wasn’t redrawn exactly to their specifications. This will probably go on until it does get done, which is ridiculous. However, in the age of judicial activism, what say do the people or their representatives really have in anything.
I’ll be in Iceland.
A panel of experts convened by the World Health Organization has unanimously endorsed the idea of offering unproven vaccines or treatments to help combat the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
This outbreak is unusual not just because it has spread to four countries and involves so many people, says Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General at the World Health Organization. It is also the first Ebola outbreak that could possibly benefit from a range of potential experimental treatments and vaccines.
“If these treatments can save lives, as the animal studies suggest, should we not use them to save lives?” Kieny asked.
Many caution against panicking but this isn’t really a panicky response given the fact that there is an outbreak in the part of the world where this will be offered. There are times when standing on procedure needs to get tossed out of the window. If people are willing to consent to the treatment after thoroughly being briefed about its experimental nature they should be allowed to proceed.
This is the world capital of adult video production. And the porn industry hasn’t given up on L.A. just yet.
But it has certainly abandoned attempting to film scenes legitimately in the county. Under a law approved by voters and enacted at the end of 2012, film permits for adult video productions require filmmakers to commit to having male performers use condoms.
It’s widely believed that, as a result of the mandatory condom rule in L.A., porn producers have simply stopped pulling permits and moved their shoots to places that don’t have prophylactic police. New data from the regional permit organization known as FilmLA seems to back that theory:
A spokesman for FilmLA says there were an estimated 480 adult permits issued in 2012. Last year there were 40, he said. And so far this year there have been about 20.
Steven Hirsch, founder of what is perhaps the world’s largest porn studio, Vivid Entertainment, says the reason for the reduction is clear: Mandatory condoms.
Television and film production long ago fled Los Angeles, mostly for Canada. That’s right, taxation and regulation became so onerous in L.A. that the industry it was built on fled for a socialist country.
Now they’re driving away the only real backup plan actors and actresses have when they get here.
The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers rank sixth and fourteenth respectively in the Top 50 political donors list. As always, the list is dominated by Big Labor and enviro loon Tom Steyer shows up in the second spot.
We will never hear about any of these BECAUSE EVIL KOCH BROTHERS, who barely cracked the top 40.
If you bump into a teacher crying poor in a state that isn’t right to work, ask him or her to hit up the union for some scratch.
President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that Congress should close a tax loophole exploited by firms by locating their tax domiciles overseas but added that he is considering options to address the issue unilaterally because the trend must be ended.
“We can’t solve the entire problem administratively, but what we are doing is, are there elements to existing statutes that are interpreted by rule or by regulation or by tradition or practice that can at least discourage some of the folks who may be trying to take advantage of this loophole,” he said at a news conference, discussing the practice known as “inversion.”
“We don’t want to see this trend grow,” he added. “That kind of herd mentality is something we want to avoid, so we want to move quickly, as quickly as possible.
Oh good, “unilaterally”-we’re just not getting enough of that from this president!
Loopholes are a by product of a tax code run amok. Simplify the code, the loopholes are easy to strip away. Politicians who just talk about loopholes all the time do so because they never want to talk about simplifying anything. They definitely don’t want to talk about reducing taxes. Ever. It’s like severing an artery and addressing it by cleaning the blood on the carpet first.
As the death toll rises in West Africa amid the worst Ebola outbreak on record, a separate threat is compounding the problem: the rainy season and the malaria cases that come with it.
In Sierra Leone, with the most Ebola cases in the epidemic, a fearful population is failing to seek medical attention for any diseases, health officials say. If they have malaria, the feeling is they don’t want to go near a hospital with Ebola cases. If it’s Ebola, they don’t believe the hospitals can help them anyway.
Of course, malaria wouldn’t be a problem at all if chemicals like DDT were being used to kill the mosquitoes that spread it. But, hey, Rachel Carson wrote a book, right?
It still mystifies me how the “we believe in science” crowd is still able to get away with this nonsense given the body count (around 100,000 per year) on their hands in Africa since they decided to prioritize the lives of birds over humans.
Finger crossed that their 10th Century nets (SCIENCE!) save at least a few lives…
“One useful idiot please, heavy on the idiot.”
Former President Jimmy Carter once again is getting way out in front of the U.S. government on the Middle East, co-authoring an op-ed in which he calls for Washington to recognize designated terror group Hamas as a legitimate “political actor” — while blasting Israel for its military campaign in the Gaza Strip.
The scathing column on ForeignPolicy.com was written by Carter and Ireland’s former president Mary Robinson.
The article called the current conflict a “humanitarian catastrophe,” and while acknowledging Hamas’ “indiscriminate targeting” of Israelis, focused its criticism on Israel.
“There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defense Forces are conducting this war,” they wrote. “Israeli bombs, missiles, and artillery have pulverized large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals.”
Carter is bristling at the fact that he lost his Most Embarrassing Nobel Peace Laureate title to Barack Obama. Now he just wants to work as hard as he can for the next couple of years to keep The Idiot King from wresting the “Worst Ex-President” mantle away from him, as most expect him to do.
After a presidency that Americans would love to forget, Carter has spent over three decades spouting inanities for media attention just so we can’t. Bill Clinton has exhibited more class as an ex-president than Carter, and he’s the guy who stole furniture on his way out of the White House.
The water main that broke near UCLA last week was ninety years old, which isn’t unusual here in the City of Angels. The only things more common than fault lines running under this city are ancient water pipes. It’s a situation that even the mayor admits isn’t going to get better soon.
As is typical with bureaucracies, the problem is blamed on a lack of money. As is also typical with bureaucracies, it is really more a problem of prioritization and budgeting than available funds.
From the Wall Street Journal article linked above (emphasis mine):
The DWP blames a lack of money, but consider its labor costs: According to the Los Angeles Times, DWP workers in 2012 earned on average $101,237, which is 50% more than other city employees and 25% more than those at comparable public and private utilities. Many earn more than half their salaries in overtime—perversely because of the need to make emergency repairs. During the first six months of 2013, workers grossed $77 million in bonuses and overtime.
Then there’s the $40 million the city last year discovered had been diverted to two trusts jointly controlled by the union and utility managers. The DWP recently spent $162 million on a new electronic billing system that overcharged more than 60,000 rate payers and resulted in bank overdraft fees.
Like many cities, Los Angeles has underinvested in public works as its priorities have changed to finance transfer payments and government employees instead.
What we have here is a situation that is waiting to literally and figuratively just waiting to blow up in their faces. Sadly, like the other municipal and state governments that are rushing headlong into financial oblivion because they’re run by Democrat Big Labor cronies, they may not do anything until everything explodes.
Will of the people, remember when that was a thing.
The State of Wisconsin is asking a federal appeals court to allow Wisconsin’s voter identification law to be enforced during this fall’s general election.
In a filing Tuesday with the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, lawyers for the state ask that a federal district court judge’s injunction blocking the law on grounds that it would racially discriminatory be lifted until the state’s appeal of that decision can be resolved.
“The balance of harms tips in Defendants’ favor because the district court’s impermissibly broad injunction purports to permanently enjoin a voting regulation that is designed to preserve the right to vote of all eligible Wisconsin voters,” Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and other state lawyers wrote in the new motion (posted here).
The motion also argues that District Court Judge Lynn Adelman’s order was too broad because it appears to prohibit Wisconsin from enforcing any voter ID law, even if state legislators were to try to fix the statute.
Kudos to the state of Wisconsin for continually battling the forces that leftists have relied upon for so long: unions and activist judges. This is the model for how to proceed in other blue-ish states if we are going to begin to kneecap these interests that have run roughshod over the electoral process for decades now.
Texas governor and potential presidential contender Rick Perry took a familiar step that other White House hopefuls have taken recently: He set up a federal PAC.
Perry filed the paperwork for RickPAC with the Federal Election Commission. It was processed Thursday. PAC spokesman Mark Miner told Bloomberg News on Monday that the political action committee would help “elect Republicans to office who share the governor’s philosophy of low taxes, limited government, border security, and job creation.”
Perry has certainly been upping his visibility lately. His handling of the border children crisis has gotten him a lot of good press, something he will need a lot of to erase the public’s memories of his three poor debate performances in 2012. He was fantastic after those missteps but no one remembers that right now. There is also the fact that, despite MSM proclamations to the contrary, illegal immigration is a winning issue for Republicans, especially now that non-border states are getting a taste of what it is like.
As reboots go, conservatives would probably rather see Perry 2.0 than Romney 3.0.
West Virginia coal company, Alpha Natural Resources, told 1,1000 workers to prepare for layoffs because 11 mines across the state are “subject to being idled.”
The reason: weak market conditions and Environmental Protection Agency regulations, the company said.
The company notified the 1,100 employees late Thursday that “sustained weak market conditions and government regulations have challenged the entire Central Appalachian mining industry.”
The layoffs would not take place till mid-October, Alpha said.
When The Idiot King said he would have a “laser-like” focus on jobs oh so long ago he really didn’t specify whether he would be focused on creating or destroying them. At least we’ve cleared that up.
These greendoggle regulations aren’t just wreaking havoc on an industry, they’re intentionally assaulting one of poorest regions of the United States.
Remember though, it’s the Republicans who hate the poor.
Even after survey after survey has recently shown a major drop in the nation’s uninsured rate, Obamacare just had its worst month in a key health-care poll.
Kaiser Family Foundation, which has done arguably the best and most consistent polling on the health-care law in the past four-plus years, found that public opinion on the law sank to a record low in July. More people than ever (53 percent) last month said they viewed the law unfavorably, an increase of 8 percentage points since June — one of the biggest opinion swings ever.
That first line would have been more accurate if it had read, “Even after survey after survey has recently shown a major manipulation of the uninsured rate by playing with Medicaid numbers…”
The “broken website” excuse is gone and more people dislike the law and that just isn’t going over well with those who championed it as The Idiot King’s “SIGNATURE PIECE OF LEGISLATION THAT OOZES MESSIANIC AWESOME!” before anyone ever had to deal with it in real life. Then again, real life doesn’t visit WaPo very often because it gets an icky rash when it does.
The realities of elevating a cipher who had a couple of media friendly catch phrases to the most powerful position on Earth are raining down all around us and the kids are taking the news that Santa Claus isn’t real rather hard.
The good news is…kidding.
There’s never good news these days.
As House Republicans struggled Thursday to rally behind legislation to address the influx of illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), a tea party favorite who has close ties to House conservatives, dismissed talk that he was partly responsible for the GOP’s stumble.
Defending his recent meetings with House Republicans, Cruz insisted that he was seeking fellowship with conservatives, rather than whipping against House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).
“One of the unfortunate things in Washington is how little communication there is between members of House and Senate,” Cruz said in an interview with The Washington Post. “For many months, I’ve been periodically hosting gatherings with House members to discuss issues and challenges of the day and our gathering last night was scheduled several weeks ago.”
“The suggestion by some that House members are unable to stand up and fight for their own conservative principles is offensive and belittling to House conservatives,” he added. “They know what they believe and it would be absurd for anyone to try to tell them what to think. In order for Washington to work better, and for Republicans to work better, and for Republicans to come together to defend conservative principles, we need to build relationships between both chambers and I’m working hard to do so. There should be much more of that in Washington.”
When asked whether he ever encouraged his allies to vote against Boehner’s border plan on Wednesday night, when he hosted more than a dozen House Republicans in his office, Cruz said he simply reaffirmed his position and listened closely to the concerns of his guests as they mulled how to proceed.
Cruz also recalled that he did praise efforts by Boehner to hold a vote on President Obama’s Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, which has granted temporary relief for some children of illegal immigrants and is set for renewal this fall.
“The House, to its credit, is trying very hard to pass legislation to prevent President Obama from illegally granting amnesty to millions of people who entered the country illegally,” he said. “Harry Reid and Democratic senators have refused to even discuss the matter, much less allow a vote on it.”
As noted in an earlier post, it has become all the rage to blame Cruz for pretty much everything but Roger Goodell’s wussification of the National Football League. There is a very real possibility at any moment of the day that Hank Johnson is in a fetal position somewhere mumbling something about Ted Cruz invading Poland in 1939. Cruz, however, succinctly points out that all of this is simply nonsense:
But the idea that the freshman is looking to be speaker in all but name is “hyperbole,” uttered by “Democrats desperate to shift blame,” Cruz said.
Cruz is forever under fire from both sides and isn’t as petulant as his detractors so he doesn’t run to his own defense each time someone says something ridiculous. He is so good at verbally brushing these attacks off though that I wish he would do it just a little more often.
Emory University Hospital has been told that a patient with the Ebola virus will be transferred to its hospital in Atlanta.
Emory says it has a special isolation unit to treat patients that are exposed to serious infectious diseases that is separate from other patient areas at the hospital.
Emory’s isolation unit is one of only four such units in the country, according to the hospital, which also said that its staff are highly trained in the procedures necessary to care for the patient.
A spokesperson from the hospital said the exact arrival date of the patient is unknown.
White House officials are expected to reassure a nervous public that this doesn’t pose a terrific threat because something much worse will most likely happen next week.
They’ve got a system, you know.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen slammed House Republicans on Thursday, saying members now have to check with “Speaker Cruz” to get any legislation passed.
“It was Senator Cruz calling the shots, and that’s why people around here are calling him ‘Speaker Cruz’ today,” the Maryland Democrat said to MSNBC’s Alex Wagner. “It means when Speaker Boehner says he’s going to get something done from now on, he’d better be checking with Senator Cruz to see if he’s gonna get the votes because clearly the new leadership team isn’t up to the task.”
It is perfectly understandable that Democrats would be upset at the thought of someone other than them pushing John Boehner around. He has, after all, been theirs to do with what they will for the longest time.
No one is living rent free in more Democrats’ heads these days than Ted Cruz. He could take the next six months off and they would be blaming everything on his “failure to come to work and show leadership” or something. He is a convenient fall guy because none of the useful idiot Republican senators from the old guard will openly defend Cruz after he failed to spend his first year in office kissing their backsides.
What Cruz is most guilty of is responding to his constituency rather than the popularity police on Capitol Hill. We have created a permanent ruling class thanks to a lazy electorate who returns idiots to office for decades. These idiots stay in office by mugging for the cameras but not really doing much. Anybody new who shows up and acts like a representative in this — you know –representative republic is just asking for trouble.
Immigrant activists and religious leaders massed outside the White House on Thursday to protest against U.S. policies on deporting migrants in the country illegally, and police arrested 112 demonstrators for blocking traffic.
The protesters urged President Barack Obama to immediately halt all deportations. They also called on him to extend relief for migrants by decree and to protect Central American children crossing into the U.S. unaccompanied by adults.
Minerva Carcano, a bishop for the United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, said such protests are needed to “raise a moral voice, because you do not hear from either Congress or the White House.”
“The two parties only think of immigrants for their political games, when elections come or to hurt their rivals,” she said. “But immigrants are not balls, nor ciphers. They are people.”
Pedro Palomino, a Peruvian journalist living in Baltimore, said he had put aside his fears and decided to publicly declare that he is in the U.S. without authorization by joining in the protest. He said it’s time for Obama “to provide a solution for millions of immigrants” who are fearful of deportation.
My solution: take the Americans citizens who are protesting, drop them in a foreign country with no papers or embassy access and let them see how other countries handle things like this.
As a bonus, every illegal dumb enough to show up at a protest is given the option of having one border kid stay if he or she gets sent back. We’ll see how much they care then.