The new head of the IRS has apologized to those who suffered because of the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, after he testified before a House subcommittee for the first time.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told reporters after the hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee that the singling out of such organizations for special scrutiny would be “intolerable,” and vowed the IRS is not doing so now.
“It won’t happen going forward,” Koskinen said. “And to the extent that people suffered accordingly, I apologize for that.”
Koskinen also expressed concern over the amount of time and manpower being spent by the IRS on the investigation into the scandal, calling the probe a “major drain” on resources.
“Which is one of the reasons I hope we can get to closure as soon as possible to get it behind us,” he said. “The facts will be what they are and we’ll respond appropriately. But we have a lot of resources that we could actually put to productive use dealing with services to taxpayers.”
It is somewhat heartening to see that the old Democrat tactic of merely repeating a lie (with generous help from the press) until the public believes it isn’t quite as reliable as it used to be. Sure, there are those who long ago killed all of their brain cells getting drunk on the Obama Kool-Aid and will gobble up whatever garbage is fed to them. But it doesn’t work on everyone now. Baby steps.
I do agree with Koskinen that too much time and manpower is being spent by the IRS investigating this. The agency shouldn’t be investigating itself — we know how that usually works with these internal government reviews. They find a couple of scapegoats and say it was an isolated problem or they find no fault at all.
If only the attorney general would hel…oh, never mind.
The White House would have us believe that all of the jobs that Unicorncare are going to make disappear is a liberating byproduct. Predictably, the lapdogs at NPR regurgitated the talking point last night. This morning, the New York Times reasserted its chief “lap doggieness”.
Those of us here in the real world are still scratching our heads over the notion that losing a job and income are totes awesome. As always when trying to make sense out of this administration’s illogic, it helps to look to SpongeBob Squarepants.
(click to enlarge)
The spin that was roundly mocked by anyone with an IQ over 78 is trumpeted as perfectly acceptable and, in classic incurious Obama lap dog press fashion, just left there. In fact, after two quick paragraphs about the GOP response to the CBO report, there are six paragraphs of Democrat rebuttal.
A Maryland middle school is holding a dance and pizza party complete with a DJ and a game room for students who earned straight A’s.
Students who got B’s and C’s are invited to attend the party once classes are over, and pizza is no longer being served. Students with lower grades are not invited at all, The Washington Post reported.
According to the newspaper’s report, 306 students of the school’s 865 students are being left out of the party.
Before college, I spent six years being educated by nuns and six years in public schools. I know for a fact that I learned far more from the good sisters who never at any time cared about my feelings. We have just pumped out a generation or two of emo morons because educators began focusing on not making under-performing students feel bad about themselves.
Many will, of course, confuse incentive with shame here. And I am sure that some of those 306 students who are being left out have some legitimate learning issues.
The bottom line here is that, in the rush to coddle students who struggle in school we have almost stigmatized those who do well. Such an extraordinary effort is made to not formally praise them that it diminishes the hard work it takes to get straight A’s. This kind of reward is refreshing in the Participation Trophy Era.
A Russian entrepreneur blew $50,000 for a cocktail purported to be the world’s most expensive.
Andrei Melnikov bought the pricey drink, which was made with a rare Hennessy blend described as the “jewel in the crown of the Hennessy Cognac range” that was served in a glass studded with four carats of diamonds from Italian Crivelli jewelers.
It was mixed up at an event to mark the opening of Moscow’s first-ever ice terrace at Reka Moscow restaurant, which opened the bar in the run-up to the Winter Olympics.
The 80-seat ice bar was created using 20 tons of Siberian ice. It comes complete with ice seats, ice bars and ice sculptures — and has special infrared heating system to keep the guests warm.
This latest Hennessy cocktail beats out the tab for a cocktail the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes as the world’s most expensive drink, called The Winston. Made by Joel Heffernan in February 2013, that cocktail was $12,970 and contained Croizet’s 1858 ‘Cuvee Leonie’ cognac –a cognac which also holds the world record title as the most expensive bottle of cognac.
Apologies to Steve Green if I am stepping on his territory here, but after two and a half days of listening to people argue about a TV commercial I felt like some liquor dreaming was in order. We all need goals.
A good weekend project would be to try all eight.
A sobering new study published by the Journal of Wine Economics — yes, there is a Journal of Wine Economics — finds that alcohol consumption in American states rises as the population’s politics becomes more liberal.
The study by Pavel Yakovlev and Walter P. Guessford of Duquesne University in Pennsylvania shows a direct correlation between political beliefs and the demand for alcohol. The study compares sales of alcoholic beverages against the political leanings of a state’s members of Congress, as ranked by liberal organizations Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and the AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education (COPE).
The research reveals that states with more liberal representatives like Nevada tend to consume up to three times more alcohol per head than more politically conservative states like Arkansas and Utah
I’m still sticking with my theory that they’re all in the midst of a psychotic break but am willing to entertain other theories that explain liberal insanity.
In stark contrast to the big 2013 run, Wall Street posted its worst annual kick off in four years as worries swirled over emerging-market tumult.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 150 points, or 0.94%, to 15698, the S&P 500 fell 11.6 points, or 0.65%, to 1783 and the Nasdaq Composite slumped 19.3 points, or 0.47%, to 4104.
The broad S&P 500 rallied 30% last year. So far, 2014 isn’t off to a great start. The broad S&P 500 slid 3.5% in January in its worst annual starter since 2010. Adding to the bearish mood, the broad-market barometer also snapped a four-month winning streak.
Not to worry…another round of debt ceiling negotiations are coming up and the Republicans totally swear they’re going to be tough this time.
I’m declaring “Happy Hour” three hours early today. I’m sure VodkaPundit will back me up.
The former Port Authority official who personally oversaw the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge in the scandal now swirling around Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Friday that the governor knew about the lane closings when they were happening, and that he had the evidence to prove it.
In a letter released by his lawyer, the official, David Wildstein, a high school friend of Mr. Christie’s who was appointed with the governor’s blessing at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, described the order to close the lanes as “the Christie administration’s order” and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago.
The “evidence to prove it” line is key, obviously.
Having never been a big Christie fan when it comes to 2016 anyway, this news isn’t very moving. Expect the MSM, however, to continue “GOP IN TATTERS!!!” stories based on nothing more than the false premise that they decided he was the only Republican hope.
I would like to preface this by saying that I am a huge football fan and, from that perspective alone, would obviously love having a franchise here. If, however, it can only be accomplished through a deal that places much of the financial burden on local taxpayers, I’m out.
PJTV alum Alexis Garcia produced this excellent piece for ReasonTV.
Prosecutors accused former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, who led the city during Hurricane Katrina, of running a graft scheme that netted him cash, vacation trips and granite supplies in exchange for contracts to help rebuild the city after the storm.
Nagin, 57, who was swept into office on promises of good government in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, was indicted a year ago by a federal grand jury on 21 counts of corruption, including bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and filing false tax returns.
“The evidence presented at this trial will show that Ray Nagin was a corrupt mayor – plain and simple,” prosecutor Matthew Coman said in a 45-minute opening statement on Thursday.
Nagin is an incompetent scumbag whose response to the crisis his city suffered was limited to bitching about President Bush when he wasn’t scamming people.
But, hey, free granite.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been tapped to be U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change, sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday.
Barring any last minute changes, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – who is seeking to re-energize the global climate change debate and boost the United Nations’ role – could make the announcement as early as Friday, the sources said on the condition of anonymity.
Between this and the Democrats’ laser focus on the minimum wage, maybe things will finally get resolved in the Ukraine and Syria.
Research claiming that hydraulic fracturing — fracking — causes increased cancer risks and birth defects have been discredited by Colorado state public health officials.
The researchers with the Colorado School of Public Health cited “minuscule” statistical differences and ignored other factors in producing a report on the negative side effects of fracking, according to a statement released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Thursday.
“It is difficult to draw conclusions from this study, due to its design and limitations,” Dr. Larry Wolk, CDPHE’s chief medical officer, said. “We appreciate continuing research about possible public health implications that may be associated with oil and gas operations in Colorado.
Anti-fracking “studies” keep getting debunked, largely because most of them are op-eds masquerading as research. Meanwhile, fracking keeps doing the things that The Idiot King doesn’t seem to be able to: create jobs and economic growth.
No wonder the prog loons hate it.
Child mortality occurs at a higher rate in Detroit than in several Third World countries, according to a study conducted by Detroit News. After collaborating with national health departments, researchers discovered that the number one factor impacting Detroit’s high child death rates is prematurity, followed by a culture of violence.
The city of 713,000 is the only U.S. city with upwards of 100 deaths per 100,000 children. In what one doctor declared a “public health emergency,” 120 out of every 100,00 children in Detroit died in 2010. The infant mortality rate — which is higher than the rates in Panama, Romania, and Botswana — is another prominent issue. Between 2000 and 2011, 2,300 infants died within their first year.
Then, in a supreme moment of blissful ignorance, they are actually honest about the cause (emphasis mine):
Health concerns stem from the city’s long history of financial troubles; all told, 60 percent of Detroit’s youth were impoverished in 2010. Detroit’s economic conditions pose ongoing challenges for residents — including food insecurity, unsafe housing, and the inability access medical care — all of which impact child health, according to Dr. Irwin Redlene, a pediatrician and Columbia University professor.
Detroit was reduced to Third World status by decades of Democrat rule and public sector unions running amok, so one wonders how. There is no lurking Republican monster under the bed to blame this on, try as they might. The city was run into the ground by the very people and kinds of policies Think Progress champions on a daily basis.
They are, however, progressives. That means that they are unable to reference any history that didn’t happen when George W. Bush was president and they are also able to just make things up when faced with yet another example of how awful their ideology is.
In reality, the Detroit of the last forty years was a pornographic progressive dream. And it is a chilling tale of just how quickly that ideology can destroy a city that was once glorious.
And built by capitalism.
Usama bin Laden was a freedom fighter and the U.S. is a “neocolonial power,” according to a California state university teacher whose writings are required reading for his political science students.
Emmit Evans, a political science lecturer at the public university Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, requires students in his “World Food Systems” class to read the textbook he co-authored, “The Other World.” In the book, about politics in the developing world, Evans offers up a sanitized version of the 9/11 mastermind and the terrorist group he headed.
“The Al Qaeda movement of Osama bin Laden is one example of an attempt to free a country (in this case, Saudi Arabia) from a corrupt and repressive regime propped up by a neocolonial power (in this case, the United States),” the book says.
Professor McMoron claims that he is merely conveying the facts:
Asked about his line referencing Al Qaeda, Evans told FoxNews.com in the language of academia that he merely presents facts and doesn’t moralize.
“With respect to my writings, they are empirical, not normative,” he said.
One of the more “through the looking glass” aspects of modern American academia is that the most profoundly ignorant people have been put in charge of higher education. At first glance, one would assume that this man knows quite well that his interpretations aren’t at all empirical and that he is lying merely to promote an agenda. In the narrow-minded bubble world of college politics and history professors, however, his conclusions are accepted as fact, despite being wildly interpretive and inaccurate.
The leftwing agenda has been in place so long in American universities that facts are contorted to fit predetermined conclusions. Since the Vietnam War, the most important conclusion that one has to come to if one is to remain published and popular on the academic cocktail circuit is that the United States is a bullying aggressor. That always leads them to see a lot of grey area in the motivations and actions of our enemies.
Which there isn’t.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has been rumored to be a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016 and Wednesday he did nothing to end the speculation when asked about a possible run.
“I’m going to think about it later (a run for president),” Bush said during a school tour Wednesday. “I don’t wake up each day saying, ‘what am I going to do today to make this decision?’”
Bush continued, “I’m deferring the decision to the right time which is later this year and the decision will be based on, can I do it joyfully, because I think we need to have candidates lift our spirits. It’s a pretty pessimistic country right now; and, is it right for my family? So I don’t even want to think about that till it’s the right time and that’s later on.”
Jeb isn’t crazy or delusional, and he is not still entertaining these thoughts because he is a raging egomaniac. This is happening because there are still power players in the upper echelons of the GOP who would sincerely like Jeb to run. The old-money players are very much of the opinion that there is a queue in the GOP for presidential runs and Jeb has been waiting his turn for a long time.
Here on Planet Earth, I can’t think of a Democrat who couldn’t beat Jeb Bush. This is the guy whose ascension was slowed by the fact that he lost a gubernatorial election he was supposed to win and his brother won one that most weren’t even aware he wanted to run for. He’s an awful choice from any angle one considers it, but there is just enough old money talking to keep this hanging around.
Like the annoying uncle who just won’t go away.
UPDATE: MSNBC has apologized and deleted the tweet.
We are deleting the earlier offensive tweet. It does not reflect msnbc's position and we apologize.
— msnbc (@msnbc) January 30, 2014
Here’s a screenshot now that the original tweet (which was embedded here) is gone:
The Cheerios family is back.
The breakfast cereal’s new Super Bowl ad features the same fictional biracial family that sparked a conservative backlash last year.
And just what was this “conservative backlash” that now undeniably proves that all conservatives hate interracial families?
The average 12th Century dungeon asylum for victims of syphilitic dementia featured fewer unhinged episodes in a month than any number of YouTube comment sections see in an hour. It is very easy to pretend to be someone else when commenting online too. Lastly, the thought that a bunch of “conservatives” were trolling YouTube to be nasty about a cute biracial girl is somewhat ridiculous. They just aren’t the YouTube comment regulars.
These are just a few of the reasons that this fantastical leap of illogic by MSNBC is as weak as it is outrageous.
I bring this up for a different reason, however. I’m often asked, rather testily at times, by people on the Left and Right, why I continue to write about media bias garbage like this. One can be dismissive as one wants about the total viewership of MSNBC but it is still as division of NBC News and this is the mindset that most of the people working there have. They pass this along to voters who aren’t devouring blog content and cable news ratings all day and it seeps into the less-informed electorate, which ends up hurting us at the polls.
It is time for more than just media watchers and bloggers to get angry about egregious bias like this, the GOP desperately needs an elected champion to say, “Oh, HELL no!” when news organizations blatantly lie.
Pope Francis today described the internet as a “gift from God,” hailing its ability to foster dialogue among disparate groups, though he acknowledged that the speed of social media can make it difficult for users to engage in self-reflection. Francis made the comments in a statement released Thursday, for the Catholic Church’s World Communications Day.
In the statement, the Argentine-born pope said that “unprecedented advances” in technology and digital media have made it easier to engage with people of different religions, thereby “creating a sense of the unity of the human family.” Using the web to communicate with various groups, he added, could help resolve religious, economic, or political differences.
The Holy Father is right about the potential but we all know it is doing anything but resolving political differences here in the US. I blame that largely on feelings, which everyone has too many of lately and I don’t believe have a place in politics, especially if you’re going to be an activist.
Note that the article just can’t help but try to make the pontiff controversial:
Francis, 77, has proven to be a divisive figure among some conservative Catholics, who have taken issue with his statements on atheism and homosexuality. In the address published today, he called for Catholics to engage in more inter-religious dialogue, saying that doing so “does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the claim that they alone are valid or absolute.”
What the media doesn’t understand is that we Catholics aren’t forming our opinions of this pope based on their wishful thinking reporting. The above statement is largely bunk (I’m sure there are some who are disgruntled because every crowd has whiners. Again…feelings.)
We’ve all heard about the massive food waste Americans incur every year.
‘Sell-by’, ‘best-by’ and ‘use-by’ dates are mostly unregulated and confusing for consumers when it comes to throwing items out –a factor that contributes to $165 billion of food wasted every year.
But the former president of Trader Joe’s Doug Rauch says he’s got a solution.
In May, he’s launching The Daily Table, a grocery store and restaurant in Dorchester, Mass., that will offer inexpensive food considered ‘unsellable’ by regular grocery stores.
Food available will include fruits and vegetables that are expired and repurposed food that will be incorporated into hot meals. Other items for sale will be products that are fine to eat but may have damaged packaging.
Hey, if good food is being tossed out because of regulatory zeal, why not make it available if it is still edible? That being said, I think there is some sour cream that has been in my fridge so long it’s learning a foreign language.
California Governor Jerry Brown took credit for his state’s fiscal rebound in a state of the state address on Wednesday that also urged continued restraint by lawmakers seeking to rebuild a social safety net tattered by years of tight budgets and economic malaise.
In a speech that could preview the tone of an expected bid for re-election this year, Brown said that California had added 1 million jobs since 2010 and extricated itself from “a financial sinkhole that defied every effort to climb out of it.
“To avoid the mistakes of the past, we must spend with great prudence, and we must also establish a solid rainy day fund, locked into the constitution,” said Brown, a Democrat now in a second stint as governor after serving two terms from 1975 to 1983.
Brown, 75, has toed a largely centrist path during this go-round at the state’s top job, vetoing several bills, including some gun control measures favored by progressives in his own party – despite Democratic control of both houses of the legislature and the governorship. Brown’s speech showed no sign of a change in that course.
It is true that Brown has been somewhat centrist, if you set the left marker at progressivism. He has always had a penchant for political quirkiness. The high speed rail (something I think it would be great to have if the taxpayers weren’t building it, btw) cash cow isn’t all that he’s ignored so far. He has also been turning a blind eye to the defined benefits debt ticking time bomb, mostly because it will explode in some future governor’s face.
Looks like he’s taking cues from Congress.
The more we learn about sitting, the more perilous it seems to be.
Flabby muscles, fuzzy thinking and all manner of cardiovascular disease can get started or get worse when we’re hanging out on the couch, stuck in traffic or just parked in a chair for too long.
Now there’s evidence that heart failure — when your heart becomes too weak to pump enough blood through your arteries — can be brought on by a sedentary lifestyle and also, more generally, a lack of physical activity.
I dug a little to see if there were any taxpayer dollars underwriting this exercise in finding out the obvious. This is mostly being posted as motivation for me and our fine readers who may need it.
And forget the “get an uncomfortable couch” trick, I’ve tried it. I still fall asleep watching TV while sitting on the little torture chamber.
Republicans eager to attract black and Latino voters believe they have hit on an ideal magnet: school choice.
Led by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, with high-profile contributions from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the GOP is pushing an election-year initiative to talk up school choice at every turn.
Calling for more charter schools, vouchers and tax credits to help parents pay private school tuition fits with the party’s mantra that the government works best when it gets out of the way and lets the free market flourish. But top strategists say it’s more than that: Talking about helping poor minority children softens the GOP’s image and lets candidates offer a positive vision instead of forever going on the attack. And unlike immigration reform, school choice is politically safe; there’s no chance of blowback from the tea party.
Plus, the photo ops are great. As the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks put it in a strategic planning document: “Focus on kids and the future = excellent media opportunity.”
The Leftmedia is naturally painting this as pure pandering, because that is the sole motivation for anything the Democrats do.
While it is an issue that definitely has appeal to some minority groups that don’t traditionally vote Republican, it is simply incorrect to think that is all this is about. As I wrote for FreedomWorks last month, it really is about choice, which the Left abhors unless you are talking about abortion. (Aside-Politico‘s attempt to make it seem as if the GOP is taking cues from FreedomWorks is laughable. There aren’t a lot of hugs being exchanged between the two entities.)
School choice is about the freedom to have our children educated in the best way possible. The Democrats hate it because their goal is to be permanently in cahoots with teachers’ unions and use public schools as indoctrination mills.
There is also the fact that the party that claims to be the champion of the poor and downtrodden in the United States is also the one fighting hard to make sure only well-to-do families have education options.
And that should be pointed out every time a Democrat begins wailing about “income inequality.”
Naming “the top priority for President Obama and Congress in 2014,” 15 percent of voters say the economy, while 16 percent list jobs or unemployment, a total of 31 percent, while 18 percent list healthcare, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. A total of 10 percent list the budget, the budget deficit, spending or other budget-related items. Another 4 percent list bi-partisanship or cooperation and 2 percent list education.
Hanging around at one percent are income inequality and gun legislation.
There are a lot of numbers to look into here but what should stand out to the GOP candidates going forward is that people are still most worried about kitchen table issues like jobs and what happens if they get sick. The administration can scream “Obstructionists!” all it wants but they are the ones who are exacerbating both problems. Thanks to the horrid setup of UnicornCare, both issues spawn questions that begin with, “How can we afford…” for everyday Americans. Hopefully, the candidates won’t get distracted by the income inequality rhetoric, which is designed to do nothing but distract from the PPACA train wreck.
The poor thing face-plants Drew Carey right in the future Careys. On national television.
Pollution from China travels in large quantities across the Pacific Ocean to the United States, a new study has found, making environmental and health problems unexpected side effects of US demand for cheap China-manufactured goods.
On some days, acid rain-inducing sulphate from burning of fossil fuels in China can account for as much as a quarter of sulphate pollution in the western United States, a team of Chinese and American researchers said in the report published by the US National Academy of Sciences, a non-profit society of scholars.
Cities like Los Angeles received at least an extra day of smog a year from nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide from China’s export-dependent factories, it said.
This information, true or not (the NAS is a big Climate Church propagandist organization these days), will probably be used to justify some nonsensical restrictions businesses here that do absolutely nothing to mitigate the actual problem. If I had written that a few years ago you’d all be calling me a conspiracy nut.
But you’ve met this president’s EPA.
In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government.
Marotta, who recently advised those worried about an imploding economy to get a gun, said that the government isn’t being honest in how it calculates those out of the workforce or inflation, the two numbers used to get the Misery Index figure.
“The unemployment rate only describes people who are currently working or looking for work,” he said. That leaves out a ton more.
“Unemployment in its truest definition, meaning the portion of people who do not have any job, is 37.2 percent. This number obviously includes some people who are not or never plan to seek employment. But it does describe how many people are not able to, do not want to or cannot find a way to work.
On the bright side…kidding, there is no bright side.
Three more years.
As if a snowed-out inaugural bash weren’t bad enough, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also took a shot Tuesday from Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who said that Christie should step down as head of the Republican Governors Association.
“He does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman,” said Cuccinelli — the former Virginia attorney general who ran unsuccessfully for Virginia governor last year — on CNN’s Crossfire Tuesday.
I never really understood the Cuccinelli hype and I am certainly no big Chris Christie fan. I do think, however, that if you are fresh off of an embarrassing loss to a corrupt Clinton remnant you should probably keep your opinions about what the party needs to do to function effectively shut up tight somewhere.
You know, maybe all of the Virginia Republicans should just stay out of sight for a while.
As bracket challenges go, this one is worth a shot.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Dan Gilbert’s Quicken Loans are partnering to award anyone who fills out a perfect 2014 Men’s NCAA Tournament bracket with $1 billion.
The prize will be paid out in 40 annual installments of $25 million. If there’s more than one winner they’ll have to share. The winner or winners can also take or split up an immediate $500 million lump sum payment.
Don’t worry, they’re dishing out plenty for some less-than-perfect brackets too.
In addition to the grand prize, Quicken will award $100,000 each to the contest’s 20 most accurate ‘imperfect’ brackets submitted by qualified entrants in the contest to use toward buying, refinancing or remodeling a home.
Of course, if the grand prize is won it will be by a 20 year old woman who hasn’t watched ten minutes of college hoops in her life and completely spitballed her bracket.
As I was hooking up a new phone in my living room, the kind where you plug a jack into the wall, I wondered why I was holding onto what had largely become a relic. It rarely rings, and even when it does, it’s usually the dentist or a robocaller.
Could my family do without it, much like the 38.2 percent of households that the government estimates use wireless phones alone? How reliable is wireless 911 now? And is there any big difference between the landline services offered by traditional carriers and by cable companies?
These are all questions I had only vague answers to, so I wanted to investigate whether the $900 or so annually we spent on a traditional land line was justified.
I was surprised that the number was only 38.2 percent. I haven’t had one in six years, I believe. Phone bills are a great place for cities and states to nickel and dime you to death with taxes so I figured I would rather pay for one phone than two. I do understand why some people who work a lot from home have them.
But I don’t understand why my mom does.
The Golden State could be a fool’s gold choice for your golden years. Except for Social Security benefits, retirement income is fully taxed, and California imposes the highest state income tax rates in the nation (the top rate is a substantial 13.3%). The state sales tax of 7.5% — a temporary hike from 7.25% that’s set to expire in 2016 — is also daunting. The sales tax can reach as high as 10% in certain cities and counties that collect additional local taxes. It’s no wonder why California ranks so high among the top ten tax-unfriendly places for retirees.
Upside? I’ll never be able to afford to retire anyway.
When it comes to bias from the MSM, it isn’t always what is said but often what isn’t. For example, look at these headlines regarding this past Wednesday’s season premiere of the show:
TV Line: Ratings: Duck Dynasty Premiere Down Sharply
Huffington Post: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Ratings Are Down Dramatically From Last Season
Talking Points Memo: Ratings Plummet For ‘Duck Dynasty’ Season Premiere After Star’s Gay-Bashing Interview
All, of course, mention the Phil Robertson interview to imply that there was a definite cause and effect in play.
It is true, the numbers were down sharply from last season’s premiere. Here is one tiny fact that none mentioned: last season’s Duck Dynasty premiere was the highest rated nonfiction series broadcast in cable history.
Oh, one other little salient point not noted in any of the three (there were more articles/posts I could have added but I felt three examples would suffice) is that the Duck Dynasty premiere easily won the ratings battle that night.
The way the lefties set this up was clear: if Duck Dynasty didn’t break it’s own record and have the best night in cable ever, Phil’s interview ruined the show. This is easy to do if no other context than last year’s number was provided.
While it may have been a big percentage drop, are they really in trouble with an 8.5 million viewers premiere? Here is more context: the much anticipated final season premiere of Breaking Bad drew 5.9 million.
The Robertsons are fine.
Hershey’s has partnered with a 3-D printing company to make headway in chocolate innovation. The chocolate maker announced Thursday it was entering a multi-year agreement with 3D Systems to produce confectionary treats leveraging 3D Systems’ technology, which includes two new sugar and chocolate printers unveiled at CES earlier this month.
“We believe that innovation is key to delivering relevant, compelling consumer experiences with our iconic brands,” William Papa, Hershey’s vice president and chief R&D officer, said in a statement. “Whether it’s creating a whole new form of candy or developing a new way to produce it, we embrace new technologies such as 3-D printing as a way to keep moving our timeless confectionery treats into the future.”
This, then a hover car, and technology has done all it can for me.
State Health Coverage Sign-Ups Paint A Complex Obamacare Picture
OK, this isn’t exactly the “Rah-Rah!” stuff we have been seeing lately but if you look at what they’re reporting it’s obvious that “complex” should have been changed to “disturbing”.
The “successes” are that eighty percent of the Texans who have signed up are eligible for subsidies and the critical 18-34 demographic ticked up to twenty five percent in California (they need that to be 40% for this to work). The rest is a hot mess of failed sites and numbers that are mostly inflated with Medicaid enrollment.
It does say a lot that the headlines are getting less and less optimistic. When the corpse is rotting people can only old their breath so long.
For the second year in a row, investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects have declined worldwide by 12% to a total of $254 billion in 2013 (from $289 billion in 2012 and $318 billion in 2011), according to the latest numbers from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which has been tracking comprehensive global investment data since 2004. This total is half the IEA’s estimate that $500 billion a year is needed by 2020 and a quarter of the $1 trillion goal by 2030. Ceres, an organization that mobilizes investors to take action on climate change, calls this the “clean trillion” gap.
You can see from the chart below that the money was flowing in when Team Lightbringer was burning taxpayer dollars on greendoggle schemes faster than a 1960 pickup goes through gas. If The Idiot King hadn’t overreached, there might not have been much to talk about. But he wouldn’t (still doesn’t, actually) shut up about and threw away some hard-earned taxpayer cash at a time when the economy and real Americans were suffering. Then much of it failed spectacularly.
Who wouldn’t be more cautious? Oh yeah, politicians.
The truth is, there are lots of books no one really expects you to read or finish. War and Peace? The Canterbury Tales? The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire? Announcing that you’ve finished those books might surprise a lot of people and make them think you’re abnormal or anti-social, unless you’re an English or History major who took their reading very, very seriously. Perhaps the shift to ebook format will diminish this reading by osmosis – and book sales, too – since people can afford to be honest about their preference for 50 Shades over The Red and the Black since their booklists are hidden in their Kindles and iPads.
So here’s my attempt to drill this down to a more realistic list: books that are culturally ubiquitous, reading deemed essential, writing everyone has heard of… that you’d be mildly embarrassed to admit you’ve never read.
I’ve only completely read four of the ten (Atlas Shrugged, Democracy In America, Moby Dick and Ulysses). I have read parts of The Art Of War and On The Origin of Species.
How about the rest of you? Anybody ten for ten (truthfully!)?