The usage of checks as a payment system has plummeted in the U.S. in recent years. In 2000, checks were used in more than 40 billion transactions, according to a recent report from the Federal Reserve’s Cash Products Office. That number is down to less than 20 billion, according to the Fed’s most recent numbers, which are based on a survey conducted in October 2012.
When it comes to American payment preferences, checks run a distant fourth. (At least when you measure the overall number of transactions. Checks are used for about 19 percent of the value of all purchases, slightly higher than debit or credit cards.)
I wouldn’t even mind people using them at the grocery store (much) if they would just manage to get the checkbook out and start filling out the check before everything was rung up and bagged. Instead, it’s always an adventurous trip through a big purse just to find the checkbook after the bagging is done, as if the payment portion of the trip to the store was a surprise.
This is the kind of thing I should be doing from a chip in my head already. And I want my Jetsons hover car.
Frustrated senators fumed that they have more questions than answers after listening to a detailed administration briefing on the trade of five Taliban leaders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, with one going so far as to threaten impeachment if President Obama uses this as an opening to shutter Guantanamo.
“If [President Obama] just tried to empty that jail, people would be calling for his impeachment,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said.
Officials from the State Department, Pentagon and intelligence agencies briefed lawmakers late Wednesday in an attempt to ease the mounting criticism surrounding the deal to free Bergdahl, who was held in captivity by the Taliban for five years.
However, many said the briefing did little to quell their concerns, the most pressing of which is that the five traded Taliban leaders could return to the battlefield.
Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., said when asked if the officials thought the five released Gitmo prisoners would attack Americans, they said they did not know.
“But there will be hell to pay if we find they go on to kill Americans,” Kirk said.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he left the briefing with more questions than answers. Republican Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss agreed.
“I don’t see how anybody can walk out of there with any kind of comfortable feeling that the administration from a notification standpoint, and I emphasize that, did what they should have done or what they had the opportunity to do. I mean, it was like they didn’t trust Dianne (Feinstein) and me,” he told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on “On the Record.”
Even though prominent Democrats have been questioning this “deal”, the leftmedia is still trying to portray any misgivings about it as a right wing media (read: Fox News) partisan attack.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot today. Why would the administration and its press monkeys behave any differently. This formula has been working for almost six years. Just a week ago, the VA scandal was going to be the thing that finally got to them. Now they’ve done this to distract from that. As this continues to go off the rails, they’ll go out and screw something else up as a distraction.
There is no limit to the amount of incompetence in Team Lightbringer but there is also no end to the MSM devotion that will keep them covering for their beloved Idiot King.
I’m going to watch every guest appearance this guy has ever made.
After John Lacy stopped in the middle of the show to confront a drunk man who called his co-star Anton Tory a “fag,” the actor says Repertory East Playhouse’s company director Ovington Michael Owston told him “go ‘F’ yourself” before firing him.
The doors at the Repertory East Playhouse in Santa Clarita, Calif. — roughly 27 miles north of West Hollywood — opened at 7 p.m. but the cast of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof didn’t take the stage until 8 p.m., leaving the audience plenty of time to have a drink and unwind in the 81-seat theater, or if you’re like one guest, get hammered before Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play about latent homosexuality and acceptance.
Well, there was little acceptance last Saturday night when ten minutes after the intermission, an unidentified heckler called actor Anton Troy a “fag.” Troy’s costar John Lacy stepped down off the stage and confronted him with a shove that sent the man to the ground. Lacy was cheered by the audience but fired by company director Ovington Michael Owston, who according to Lacy and Troy claimed the heckler’s friend threatened to return with a gun after he was thrown out.
I’m a comedian, so I’m predisposed to not liking hecklers, but at least I am allowed to deal with them from the stage. Theater actors don’t have that luxury. Theater crowds also used to be better behaved.
Here’s the thing about hecklers-they always think they’re being cute. In a stand-up show, many of the idiots believe they are adding something to the performance.
What they really do in any setting is ruin it for the other audience members. Theater and club owners are so desperate to hang onto every dollar that they’re willing to risk the polite people not complaining rather than kick one idiot out and refund his money. The idiot theater owner here had to cancel that night’s entire show after this and refund all the money because he wouldn’t corral one drunken moron.
Air pollution is linked to increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat and blood clots in the lung, research suggests.
The impact of air pollution on the risk of heart attack and stroke is less clear, say UK experts.
Analysis of data from England and Wales shows air pollution is particularly harmful in the elderly.
Further research is needed on pollution and cardiovascular health, says the British Heart Foundation.
A team at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine analysed data collected in England and Wales between 2003 and 2009 on links between cardiovascular problems and short-term air pollution.
They found short-term air pollution was linked to arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) and blood clots in the lung.
The strongest link was in the over-75s and in women, lead researcher Dr Ai Milojevic told BBC News.
Who would have thought that breathing air you can’t see through would have negative side effects? More importantly, why is pollution discriminating against the elderly?
Just thinking about this makes my heart race.
But it may be somewhat premature and even inaccurate to declare that Clinton is intentionally distancing herself from the Obama administration.
First, there was significant distance between Clinton and Obama from the very start, even before she joined his administration. As a senator, Clinton voted to authorize President George W. Bush’s 2003 Iraq invasion. That was the vote that allowed Obama to contrast himself as the anti-war alternative to Clinton, a key to his winning the nomination.
And lest we forget, Clinton repeatedly ridiculed Obama in 2007 and 2008 for what she alleged was his foreign policy naivete, such as during a debate when Obama stated his openness to holding direct talks with the leaders of Iran and North Korea.
Second, if Clinton was indeed taking a harder line on negotiations with the Taliban to free Bergdahl as far back as 2012 as The Daily Beast reports, it would be evidence of real differences between her and other administration officials back then.
Let us not forget that Her Madameship’s entire career is built upon uncomfortably arrangements with two men who embarrassed her. She is closer ideologically to her husband than to her former boss.
Should she decide to run, it will be very interesting to see how much effort she puts into making it very clear that they differed on a lot. That will have the press heading to group therapy as they will be torn between protecting their Messiah’s legacy and dutifully sticking to the completion of Bubba’s legacy.
Watch out for exploding heads.
Rolling Stones Ignore Pink Floyd’s Plea To Avoid Israel Because They’re The Rolling Stones, Thank You
Pink Floyd can’t always get what it wants.
The Rolling Stones got Tel Aviv rocking Wednesday night during the band’s scheduled tour stop, ignoring Pink Floyd’s request that they cancel the concert amid what that band described as “global struggle for Palestinian freedom and equal rights.”
Front man Mick Jagger and bandmates — who began the show with “Start Me Up” — join a growing list of big-name acts who added Israel as part of their recent tours, including Justin Timberlake and Rihanna, despite efforts encouraging them to boycott performing there.
It’s good to see this stupid, hippie academic fueled BDS movement failing on so many fronts. Once it got some recognition and people started learning more its efforts to completely pollute American college campuses began to falter.
As for the entertainment angle here, if the Stones are there and Pink Floyd isn’t…Israel wins.
Officials at a Veterans Affairs medical center in Albuquerque say as many as 3,000 patients were assigned to a doctor who didn’t actually see them, a New Mexico congresswoman said Wednesday.
The officials told U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., that the practice of putting patients without primary care doctors into a separate pool was part of an effort to balance demand and a shortage of doctors at a facility that handled nearly 660,000 outpatient visits last year.
They said the health of patients was monitored and those who needed urgent care were seen either in clinics, emergency rooms or squeezed onto the schedule of another doctor, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether the practice put any veterans at risk.
It also wasn’t clear how long they waited to be assigned to a doctor. Officials said the practice began in summer 2012 and lasted until January 2014, but they have not said what prompted the end of the program.
The congressional staffers were told nearly two-thirds of patients at the Albuquerque VA medical center are seen within a 14-day window, but Lujan Grisham questioned the data given that VA officials weren’t initially forthcoming about the patient pool.
If their health was being monitored, why is it unclear if any were at risk?
This is the nightmare of a single payer system that exists in a country with a private backup. Imagine if it were the only option. These things that have been coming to light are not anomalies, they’re pretty standard fare for single payer health care, especially the numbers fudging that blew the whole scandal up in the first place.
Many (including me) have chronicled such things happening in the UK for a while now. Sadly, it’s almost like an airline disaster — something tragic had to happen before anyone was interested in identifying and fixing the problem.
A shameful situation indeed when it endangered the lives of our veterans.
It takes a level of disconnect that’s stunning even by Media Matters standards to ignore the avalanche of information indicating that there is something really, really fishy going on here. Yes, ignorant hyperbole is standard operating procedure for the Soros Monkeys but it’s almost painful to watch the usual Obama flacks doubling down even as it becomes ever more apparent that he really stepped in it again.
Two of the Southwest’s largest coal-fired power plants straddle the San Juan River in northwestern New Mexico, one within clear view of the other.
But one of them didn’t factor into the Obama administration’s plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions across the nation because it is on an American Indian reservation.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will hold off on emissions standards for four power plants on reservations to talk further with tribes and give them an opportunity to create cleanup plans of their own. If the tribes decline, the federal government will craft plans for them.
“There’s a different federal-tribal relationship than there are with states, so we wanted to take that into account,” EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia said.
I thought we were taking “OMG YOU’RE KILLING THE PLANET!” into account? These plants are mere miles apart. If one can wait, why can’t the other?
It’s going to be rough for the Democrats when these junk science hippie fantasies of theirs begin hitting everyone’s utility bills.
Really dumb headline:
$15 minimum wage permits few luxuries in US cities
A $15 minimum wage like the one adopted in Seattle doesn’t buy many luxuries in most American cities.
Lattes, theater tickets and cable television will still be out of reach for most minimum-wage workers. But about $31,000 a year should be enough to pay the average rent for a shared one-bedroom apartment, plus utilities, health insurance, groceries and an inexpensive cellphone plan.
So what they’ve accomplished is creating a wage that adults who want to share one bedroom can barely survive on. An annual wage that will only be available until businesses fold or cut back on staff because of the extra cost. The ones that haven’t cut back on hours because of Obamacare, that is.
The progressive inability to understand math is going to ruin us all.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein took at shot at the Obama administration on Tuesday for failing to give lawmakers 30 days’ notice about a deal to release five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only POW from America’s war in Afghanistan.
“It’s very disappointing that there was not a level of trust sufficient to justify alerting us,” Feinstein told reporters in the Capitol.
A defense bill that President Obama signed into law in December 2013 requires that Congress be notified 30 days ahead of releasing prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
Feinstein said that National Deputy Security Adviser Tony Blinken called her Monday night “apologizing” for failing to notify lawmakers sooner.
From Obamacare to this, The Idiot King doesn’t seem to be much for obeying the laws he signs.
The press has been in full cover the president’s you-know-what mode for two days now, so you can tell that Team Lightbringer is nervous about this. It is yet another monumental misread of the sentiment of the American public, coming hot on the heels of their gross miscalculations about how to proceed regarding the VA scandal.
Can we scour craigslist or LinkedIn and try to find an adult for this administration?
It took Harriette Thompson more than seven hours to run a marathon Sunday in San Diego. But that was awfully good, considering she’s 91 and recovering from cancer.
In fact, she beat the previous record for women 90 and up by two hours and 45 minutes. She also became the second-oldest woman to complete a marathon in U.S. history, according to the running site Competitor.com.
She told the Charlotte Observer before the race that the only time she feels her age is after running a marathon.
“Lots of times, I see young girls coming in and limping, hardly able to move,” she said, “and I think, ‘Well, that’s pretty good that I don’t feel that bad.’ ”
Thompson finished Sunday’s race in 7 hours, 7 minutes and 42 seconds. It was her 15th marathon in 16 years. She started running the San Diego race at age 76, missing only last year’s because of oral cancer.
This would be an inspirational story even if I weren’t a runner. As I am one, I would like to thank Harriette Thompson for destroying whatever excuses I may concoct in the future.
I better get some rest, I have to run tomorrow.
Syrians vote on Tuesday in a presidential poll that Bashar al-Assad is all but certain to win, but which the opposition has slammed as a “farce” that will prolong a brutal three-year war.
In theory, this will be Syria’s first election in nearly 50 years, with Assad and his father Hafez renewing their mandates in successive referendums.
But the controversial vote excludes regime opponents from running, and will only be held in areas under army control.
Good news: the North Koreans and Iranians are there to make sure the voting is fair!
Observers from countries allied to the regime — North Korea, Iran and Russia — are to supervise the voting, while a security plan has reportedly been put in place in Syrian cities to prevent possible attacks against voters and polling stations.
Well, at least our magical healing president has made everyone in that part of the world love us just like the Hopeychangeys promised he would…
Seattle’s city council on Monday unanimously approved an increase in the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, making it the nation’s highest by far.
The increase was formally proposed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and his spokesman said he intends to sign the ordinance on Tuesday.
Apparently unaware that it doesn’t have the weather advantages that other places pricing themselves out of existence do (Los Angeles, anyone?), Seattle seems to be ready to set a record for how many businesses it can ruin.
The earnest idiots who whip up this minimum wage frenzy always use big corporations in their examples. It’s usually along the lines of, “The CEO of McDonald’s makes millions while the burger flipper struggles and that is wrong BECAUSE FAIRNESS.” No discussion of the fact that an entry level, part time job isn’t supposed to be your adult income wage for life.
What they don’t discuss is just how stifling this progressive feel good, math-hating nonsense is to current and aspiring small business owners.
Because they want to drive as many people as they can into financial hell.
Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes on Wednesday twice refused to say whether she would have voted for President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
Asked two times whether she’d have voted for the 2010 overhaul, the Kentucky Democrat who is challenging Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told The Associated Press: “I, when we are in the United States Senate, will work to fix the Affordable Care Act.”
Grimes added: “I believe the politically motivated response you continue to see from Mitch McConnell in terms of repeal, root and branch, is not in reality or keeping … with what the facts are here in Kentucky.”
The law Republicans call “Obamacare” presents a delicate issue for Grimes, who won the Democratic Senate primary on Tuesday. Kynect, Kentucky’s state-run health insurance exchange made possible by the law, is wildly popular. More than 400,000 people have either signed up for an expanded Medicaid program or purchased private insurance plans with the help of government subsidies. But Obamacare remains unpopular in the state, mostly because President Barack Obama himself is unpopular here.
Look at her, already getting a little help from the MSM. “The law Republicans call Obamacare”? Really? Pretty sure that’s not just a Republican thing. The implication, of course, is to make it seem as if all of the problems are just because the GOP politicians are being super big meanies to the awesome freebie health care.
She could end up being a decent opponent. McConnell will probably win, I just fear the party will have to spend money defending this seat that could be better spent elsewhere.
Like on someone who isn’t awful.
More than 100 demonstrators seeking better pay for McDonald’s workers were arrested on Wednesday as protesters swarmed the fast-food chain’s corporate campus near Chicago demanding a minimum wage of $15 an hour and the right to unionize.
The protest against McDonald’s Corp, the world’s biggest restaurant operator by revenue, came a day before a shareholder vote on executive pay, including that of Chief Executive Don Thompson, who earned total compensation of $9.5 million in 2013.
Rallies by low-wage restaurant and retail workers have helped fuel a national debate on pay inequality at a time when many middle- to low-income Americans are struggling to make ends meet.
Jessica Davis, a 25-year-old McDonald’s crew trainer with two children, said Thompson was earning his millions on the backs of working mothers and fathers.
“We need to show McDonald’s that we’re serious and that we’re not backing down,” said Davis, who earns $8.98 per hour at a Chicago McDonald’s.
These aren’t talking points that burger-flippers dream up while they’re pondering politics and economics in their free hours, they’re class warfare instigation tactics by commie labor goons.
Here’s a simple lesson: if you’re company can easily replace you with automation, and is already doing so elsewhere in the world, maybe you should be doing something to get yourself in position for a better job.
Show of hands on how many would rather deal with the touch screen anyway…
Virgin America on Wednesday called its flight attendants’ drive to join a union detrimental and said it expects the effort to fail like a similar vote two years ago.
The Burlingame, California-based airline’s flight attendants petitioned on Tuesday for a vote on whether to be represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU), a move that, if successful, would leave no non-union airline in the U.S. industry.
Since launching in 2007, Virgin America has focused on “making flying good again,” and “a third party like the TWU would only detract from that,” spokeswoman Jennifer Thomas said.
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of flying Virgin America, it is one of the more remarkably pleasant travel experiences in America these days. The crews are nice, professional and manage to do all of the legally mandated garbage other crews have to without making them tedious.
It’s remarkable how things change when people have to perform better to hang onto their jobs.
The White House fought on Tuesday to contain the growing political furor over allegations of misconduct at the nation’s veterans hospitals as Republicans, eager to use the issue in the midterm elections, seized on the reports as new evidence that President Obama is unable to govern effectively.
Rob Nabors, the president’s deputy chief of staff, will fly to the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Phoenix on Wednesday to assess the most damning reports — that government workers falsified data or created secret waiting lists to hide the long delays veterans faced before seeing doctors.
The president is also sending Denis R. McDonough, his chief of staff, to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to consult with the chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator Bernard Sanders, independent of Vermont. Lawmakers are working on bipartisan legislation that would give veterans officials greater authority to fire those responsible at the department. The House is expected to vote on Wednesday on a bill, and the Senate is expected to hold hearings on the legislation soon.
Inside the White House, officials said that there was no political panic but that the issue was of serious, substantive concern — unlike, they said, a previous Republican uproar over extra scrutiny given to Tea Party groups by the Internal Revenue Service.
That was an extraordinarily hacktastic move to get in a dismissal of the IRS targeting “scandal that wasn’t a scandal”.
The tone of the article is that the VA scandal makes it appear as if this administration is a train wreck, not the obvious, “This administration is actually a train wreck.”
In a curious move, the article mentions that Obama is getting grief from his “liberal pop culture allies”:
The incidents have also generated a new round of condemnation from the president’s liberal pop culture allies, an indication that anger about the allegations has moved beyond the halls of Congress. On Monday, Jon Stewart on Comedy Central mocked the president’s top officials, including Mr. Shinseki, for what he called tepid expressions of outrage and anger in recent days.
Reacting to Mr. Shinseki’s declaration that he was “mad as hell” about the allegations, Mr. Stewart said, “Your ‘mad as hell’ face looks a lot like your ‘Oh, we’re out of orange juice’ face.”
They get back on target, finishing up with a warning to Republicans about using this scandal as a “political weapon”.
In summation: the problem isn’t really the problem, the problem is that the Republicans are making the public aware of the problem.
Because it’s fun to laugh at the French.
The French train operator SNCF has discovered that 2,000 new trains it ordered at a cost of 15bn euros ($20.5bn; £12.1bn) are too wide for many regional platforms.
The BBC’s Christian Fraser in Paris says that it is an embarrassing blunder that has so far cost the rail operator over 50m euros ($68.4m; £40.6m).
Our correspondent says that the cost is likely to rise even further.
They were given the wrong dimensions but didn’t double-check them.
“Close enough for government work” became a saying for a reason, kids.
It’s been obvious ever since 2010 that Republicans and conservatives were spending a lot more slamming the Affordable Care Act than the Obama administration and Democrats were spending to defend it.
But 15 to 1?
Yes. That’s the ratio calculated by Kantar Media’s campaign media analysis group — CMAG to political junkies. Kantar estimates that national advertising against the ACA cost $418 million, compared with $27 million for ads supporting the law. Kantar calls the anti-ACA spending “unprecedented [and] largely unanswered.”
Even in general election-focused ads this year, 76 percent of Republican ads airing from January through April attacked the health care law. In Senate campaigns in New Hampshire and North Carolina and in 13 House races, Kantar found that every GOP broadcast ad brought up the anti-ACA messages.
Kantar’s Elizabeth Wilner, a co-author of the analysis, said, “Positive ads about the ACA are still so rare that whenever one appears, it gets a national news story.”
Oh, that stuff doesn’t count because, according to the pollsters, those ads weren’t really supporting Obamacare.
They were just telling people to sign up for it.
Yet in 2013, when millions of Americans had to sign up for coverage, industry spending spotlighted the differences of magnitude between American politics and American commerce. In just six months, insurance companies ran ads costing an estimated $381 million, not far behind what the law’s critics spent over four years. The industry ads were neutral, neither attacking nor defending the law — “Switzerland,” as Wilner put it.
UPDATED They backtracked a bit and are blah blahing about better communication. So they’ve decided to do it after hours rather than during school, which is good but still is all about making sure the underachievers don’t feel bad about themselves.
American public school educators have lost their minds.
Concerned that an annual honors night for students is too “exclusive,” officials at a Rhode Island school have decided to scrap the event.
An email sent out to parents of students at Archie R. Cole Middle School in East Greenwich said students who would normally be honored at the spring event would instead be recognized during team-based ceremonies and graduation, the East Greenwich Patch reports.
“This will afford us the opportunity to celebrate the individual and collective successes of all students and their effort, progress and excellence,” said the email sent out over the weekend, which was signed by Principal Alexis Meyer and Assistant Principal Dan Seger.
The email added that “Members of the school community have long expressed concerns related to the exclusive nature of Honors Night.”
We are supposed to let the C+ students who devote most of their time to PlayStation piggyback on the work of the students who worked hard to achieve something for celebratory purposes?
My daughter is a varsity sophomore athlete and gets very good grades. She never gets to sleep in. She is either studying or working out. We had to cut her Confirmation celebration short last Sunday because she was at a track meet all day Saturday and had homework she still needed to do. Guess what? That kind of kid is more “exclusive” than some Doritos-munching, eye-rolling little miscreant who spends his homework time watching YouTube vids.
Exactly how do modern American educators exhort a student to put in the extra effort to achieve greater things if they are teaching them that greater things shouldn’t be rewarded? I know the lefties have had a good few years whining since The Idiot King became president but running around barking, “1%!” and “Privilege!” isn’t going to work as a life plan for very long, no matter how big the nanny state teats grow.
Here is an utterly shameless plug, but I cover most of this kind of nonsense that public educators are ruining our kids with in my Amazon bestselling ebook, Don’t Let The Hippies Shower. I would say “read it and weep” but I made it somewhat humorous, so you can laugh through the tears.
While the best options for the moment are private and charter schools or homeschooling, not everyone has those available. Also, we can’t cede taxpayer funded public education to these loons. We have to fight to take it back.
Graduation Season? More like Disinvitation Season.
As students across the country prepare for pomp and circumstance, college and university administrators are grappling with a series of commencement speech boondoggles.
This year alone, nearly a dozen big-name commencement speakers — including the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — have been invited to speak at graduation ceremonies, only to withdraw or have their invitations rescinded in the wake of campus protests.
“It’s not necessarily that all that many people get disinvited, but students and faculty get together and demand that speakers get disinvited,” says Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
This kind of commencement controversy has picked up steam since 2009, Lukianoff says, with campus protests hitting a new peak in the last year.
These are dumb college kids (heavy emphasis on the “dumb”) who are egged on by activist professors, so it’s not really the popular uprising that the academics would have you believe. Academia is polluted with 1960s hippie remnants who offer virtually nothing to society but get to hijack our campuses to work out their various issues with capitalism, America and freedom in general.
As has been established time and again, nothing terrifies a leftist more than diversity of thought.
“I think we are seeing a disturbing trend,” says McCartney of Smith College. “I’ve been describing it as a lack of tolerance for a wide variety of views.”
Lawrence Bacow, the former president of Tufts College, says the uptick in back-outs is worrying. Universities are meant to be environments that promote free speech and open-mindedness, but, he argues, by protesting, students are self-selecting speakers who only reinforce what they believe.
“The role of a speaker — any speaker — who seeks to educate the audience that they’re speaking to is to challenge their beliefs and not necessarily to reinforce them,” Bacow says. “And so if the test for giving a speech on campus or commencement speech is that one has never offended anyone by virtue of anything ever one has done in public life, there are going to be very few people who can give commencement speeches.”
Except for radicals, of course.
Missouri’s Republican-controlled Legislature gave final approval Wednesday to legislation requiring a woman to wait three days after first seeing a doctor before having an abortion. Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has not said whether he will sign or veto it.
The measure would triple Missouri’s current 24-hour waiting period and put the state in line with Utah and South Dakota as the only states to mandate a 72-hour time frame. Missouri currently has only one clinic performing elective abortions.
The House voted 111-39 in favor of the measure Wednesday, sending it to Nixon, who has previously allowed other abortion restrictions to become law without his signature. That included a measure last year that requires doctors to be in the room for the initial dose of a drug used in medical abortions.
Nixon said Tuesday that he would review the extended waiting period and act in a manner consistent with his other actions on abortion legislation.
This should get the abortion ghouls screaming, as they are opposed to any restrictions. A wait period for a decision that affects so much and is so permanent would seem like a no-brainer in a sane world. However, a world that makes a “hero” out of someone like Wendy Davis checked out of sanity a long time ago.
An Illinois judge on Wednesday suspended the state’s new pension reform law until lawsuits brought by unions, retirees and others challenging the constitutionality of the overhaul of the retirement system are resolved.
“This law is going no place until there is a final resolution on the merits (of the lawsuits),” said Don Craven, an attorney who filed a lawsuit against the law on behalf of the Illinois State Employees Association Retirees.
Like so many left-leaning states where Big Labor has dominated for decades, the public pension system in Illinois is making it go bankrupt. It is nigh on impossible to get unions to give anything until disaster hits. Even then, they complain. As long as they get theirs, they don’t care. They can’t, however, figure out the math involved in destroying the very tax bases that support their often embarrassingly egregious retirement plans.
The attorney quoted above makes the essence of the problem clear-the unions don’t even think the law is necessary.
They just don’t get it.
I just threw the Le Monde news in because I found it weird that it showed up shortly after the bombshell from the Times. The latter is the one that’s curiouser and curiouser, however:
Sulzberger told stunned staff members on Wednesday the appointment of Baquet “would improve some aspects of the management of the newsroom,” according to his remarks obtained by Reuters.
He did not elaborate on what those issues were but said they did not relate to the direction of the journalism or the paper’s digital future.
“This is also not about any sort of disagreement between the newsroom and the business side over the critical principle of an independent newsroom,” he said.
Abramson, who was not present at the meeting, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
There is already speculation that this was over wages, which makes the story absolutely delicious, even if it won’t ultimately have any impact on the Times, which has been a hotbed of horrible reporting and hypocrisy for so long now that it seems to be the business model.
As my mother always told me, “Any bad day for the New York Times is a good day for America.”
Former President Bill Clinton is vouching for his wife Hillary’s health after recent speculation by GOP strategist Karl Rove that she may have suffered a brain injury last year.
When asked at a Washington conference about Rove’s remarks Clinton said that “she’s still quicker than I am.”
I’m sure that this is just an attention getting evil genius ploy on the part of Karl Rove, but I am enjoying it because he’s giving them a taste of their own medicine. Pulling something out of thin air to get the character assassination rumor mill fired up is classic Clinton. The mere fact that Bubba even had to answer a question about it is a minor victory for Rove.
After the way the Clinton 1.0 machine treated its enemies there is no such thing as an “unfair” dig at Hillary.
Now, I know that I have publicly stated several times since November of 2012 that I will never disagree with Nate Silver again, but I’m not talking about the statistics here, but his spin. This is his reporting on what the Gallup poll that’s the basis for this actually said:
A Gallup poll released Monday found that just 35 percent of registered voters are more excited than usual about voting in November’s midterm elections. That’s well down from 2010 and somewhat down from most other midterm years when Gallup has asked this question. Midterm elections normally generate less voter enthusiasm than presidential years, so this isn’t all that high a bar to clear.
Less voter enthusiasm doesn’t mean that the stakes are diminished as well. If American voter apathy is the main determining factor about the importance of the issues in any election, turn out the lights and shut this thing down now.
As one of the people who keeps plowing ahead no matter how wearisome the previous elections have been, I would say that people like me are even more invested in this year’s outcome because we would like to strengthen our position for the 2016 presidential contest as much as possible.
The poll finds that the Democrats are facing an even bigger enthusiasm gap, which isn’t surprising given the real versus the media-spun Obama track record. It’s difficult to tell people who are now without, or paying significantly more for, health insurance thanks to Obamacare that this is all an obstructionist Republican illusion.
It may lack the shininess of a presidential election, but there is plenty of reason to vote for anyone who wants to stem the progressive leftward creep in the American political conversation.
A “horrendous crime” that “violates every major objective of Islam.”
That’s how Daisy Khan, founder of the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality described the recent kidnappings of nearly 300 schoolgirls by Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram. Despite similar denunciations of Boko Haram’s actions by Muslim religious leaders, activists, organizations, and intellectuals across the world, right-wing media are set on using the kidnappings as a justification for their Islamophobic narratives and their attempt to make Boko Haram the face of Islam.
Boko Haram is a marginalized terrorist organization operating out of Nigeria whose murky ideological goals include eliminating secular education.
The gist of these defenses of Islamic terrorists by lefties every time goes something like this: it’s an “isolated incident” or a “marginalized” group or, in the case of the Boston Marathon bombers, “they were basically loners.” They are so desperate to say “all Islamists aren’t terrorists” that they make up ways to avoid saying that the key component in Islamic terrorism is the Islamic stuff. If you press them, they’ll begin barking “Timothy McVeigh!” like a chihuahua around a mailman. In their world, the anomaly has disproportionate weight, essentially giving a free pass these last twenty years to anyone who wants to ignore the obvious, terrorism-inspiring 800 lb gorilla in the room.
It’s stupid and it’s dangerous.
A Saudi court has imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi for 10 years for “insulting Islam” and setting up a liberal web forum, local media report.
He was also sentenced to 1,000 lashes and ordered to pay a fine of 1 million riyals ($266,000; £133,000).
Amnesty International called the verdict “outrageous” and urged the authorities to quash the verdict.
Mr Badawi, the co-founder of a website called the Liberal Saudi Network, was arrested in 2012.
A Saudi newspaper close to the government reported that he had lost his appeal against an earlier, more lenient sentence of seven years and three months in jail and 600 lashes.
Sure, we can dismiss this as an extreme example of something that is happening in a faraway place but this is precisely where the speech and though police in this country have us heading. In fact, some of the same elements are at work.
Last week’s incident at Rutgers university which dealt yet another blow to freedom of speech and diversity of thought on an American campus was carried out by a largely pro-Palestinian, Israel-hating mob. It was basically Sharia Light. If we keep allowing them small victories like this, the big one will end up being rather easy for them.
North Carolina is facing a very big mental health care challenge — 28 counties across the state do not have a single psychiatrist. That’s despite the fact that in recent years, emergency rooms in the state have seen more patients with mental health, developmental disability or substance abuse problems.
So the state is trying telepsychiatry. When a patient comes into an emergency room, they can be connected via a two-way video connection with a psychiatrist. A recent study by the nonpartisan North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research found that the method is having some success in providing more timely treatment.
One of the psychiatrists, Dr. Sy Atezaz Saeed, told NPR’s Robert Siegel that that’s very much like being face-to-face with a patient.
“When you ask patients about this experience, most of them will tell you that after a few minutes of some hesitation, they even forget that they are talking to the doctor via this monitor,” Saeed, the chairman of the psychiatry department at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, says.
A clinic I go to has been doing some tele-diagnosis for a while with quite a bit of success. It seems to be an even more natural fit for psychiatric help, if the security concerns are always adequately addressed, that is. In our NSA-is-everywhere world that may never be the case.
Over the 25 years Hillary Clinton has spent in the national spotlight, she’s been smeared and stereotyped, the subject of dozens of over-hyped or downright fictional stories and books alleging, among other things, that she is a lesbian, a Black Widow killer who offed Vincent Foster then led an unprecedented coverup, a pathological liar, a real estate swindler, a Commie, a harridan. Every aspect of her personal life has been ransacked; there’s no part of her 5-foot-7-inch body that hasn’t come under microscopic scrutiny, from her ankles to her neckline to her myopic blue eyes—not to mention the ever-changing parade of hairstyles that friends say reflects creative restlessness and enemies read as a symbol of somebody who doesn’t stand for anything.
OK, had they not used the word “alleging,” most of that paragraph would have been something eerily similar to what I would write about her. Anyone who uses the word “harridan” is just trying to justify some college debt, however.
The descent into “I Can’t Believe This Isn’t Parody Land” is remarkably quick in this piece, even for Politico.
Forget all that troubled history, and a Clinton run for president in 2016 seems like a no-brainer, an inevitable next step after the redemption of her past few years as a well-regarded, if not quite historic, secretary of state. But remember the record, and you’ll understand why Clinton, although rested, rich and seemingly ready, has yet to commit to a presidential race (people around her insist it’s not greater than a 50-50 proposition), even as she’s an overwhelming favorite.
If Clinton says yes, she’ll have access to a bottomless pool of Democratic political talent and cash to match all those hyperbolic pronouncements about her inevitability. If she doesn’t run, the single biggest factor holding her back will be the media, according to an informal survey of three dozen friends, allies and former aides interviewed for this article. As much as anything else, her ambivalence about the race, they told us, reflects her distaste for and apprehension of a rapacious, shallow and sometimes outright sexist national political press corps acting as enablers for her enemies on the right.
Get it? THE VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY IS STILL ALIVE AND KEEPING HER DOWN!
And it’s got friends in the media.
Also, this nothing but beer, chocolate and french fries diet will lower your cholesterol and get you in the best shape of your life.
As the weekend is almost here, I really don’t have time to think about all of the things that the media has given Hillary a free pass on over the years; that’s a job that would go faster if Vince Foster were here to refresh my memory.
But I can recall the biggest one off the top of my head. I’ll explain on the next page.
Sen. Rand Paul is seeking new alliances with the Republican Party’s establishment wing during a Northeast tour that begins Friday in Boston.
The 51-year-old Kentucky Republican headlined an afternoon luncheon hosted by top lieutenants of former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The private meeting comes as Paul weighs a 2016 presidential bid of his own.
Those close to Paul acknowledge he must broaden his appeal beyond the tea party and libertarian-minded activists who rallied behind his father’s long-shot presidential runs.
Even after all these years, I am still amazed at how the MSM can’t even toss out a four-paragraph quickie announcement without getting something wrong. The Tea Party people who support Rand Paul now aren’t limited to the fringe that his whacky daddy attracted. If that were actually the case, trust me, AP wouldn’t have even written this.
Also, it’s fine if he wants to get a group hug going with the Romney folk, as long as he doesn’t let them take over. The inbred political consultant system is a plague upon the Republican Party that needs to be cured immediately if we don’t want Elizabeth Warren to be the next president. The establishment types love to use Tea Party election losses as an indication that they can never win. When it comes to their own spectacular failures, they not only ignore them, they reward most of the people who did such an awful job.
It’s a model that really isn’t working anymore.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) admitted on Thursday that repealing President Obama’s signature health reform law “isn’t the answer” because it’s too late to roll back all of the changes it’s had on the insurance industry over the past several years.
“Obamacare is the law of the land. It is there and it has driven all types of changes in our health care delivery system. You can’t recreate an insurance market overnight,” Boehner told a group of his constituents at a Rotary Club meeting in his home district.
Boehner suggested that House Republicans need to work to transition “back to a system that empowers patients and doctors to make choices that are good for their own health as opposed to doing what the government is dictating they should do,” but noted that will take some time.
Sometimes I think Boehner and The Idiot King have sleepovers and discuss talking points.
Repeal is not impossible, but it is difficult. One of the reasons that people on the more conservative side of things rail against establishment GOP legislators is because we are forever dealing with problems that came about because they are weak and either support, or get steamrolled by, these massive federal expansions. They capitulate and promise to fight another day but that day never ever comes.
Pack up the pom-poms in Buffalo, because the Bills will be playing without the support of their official cheerleaders this year.
Stephanie Mateczun, whose company manages the Buffalo Jills cheerleading squad, said Thursday she has suspended operations through at least the end of the season. The decision was made two days after five former Jills filed a lawsuit complaining they worked hundreds of hours for free, and were subjected to groping and sexual comments.
I can’t imagine the horror of having to endure winters in Buffalo and attend Bills games.
Also, what kind of human being objectifies cheerleaders?!?
Well, at least they all have health insurance now or something.
U.S. postal workers took to the streets Thursday to protest in front of Staples office supply stores around the country. At issue is a decision to open Postal Service counters in Staples stores — something they say is siphoning away union jobs.
The postal workers’ grievances come as their employer faces pressures to find new avenues of business.
Both the American Postal Workers Union and the leadership of the U.S. Postal Service lay claim to be fighting for the same cause: safeguarding the long-term future of one of the largest employers in the country.
The sharp disagreement comes over how to go about it.
Speaking at a protest in Washington, D.C., postal union President Mark Dimondstein says it’s fine that the Postal Service wants to open counters in retail outlets, as it began to last year in Staples stores. The problem, he says, are the terms.
“Our demand on the question of the USPS-Staples deal was to put postal employees in those postal units,” Dimondstein says.
Instead, the counters are staffed by Staples employees. And the Postal Service has made clear it hopes to keep expanding within the Staples chain and with other similar partners.
They should be upset-it’s not going to be pretty for them when Americans find out that they can pay someone half the money to do twice the work. (I am not saying that all postal workers are deserving of complaints; the ones by my place are actually pretty good.)
Honestly, these hybrid public/private sector ventures might be what saves the USPS from itself by breathing new life into a system that has been a financial sink hole for decades.