It’s the weekend so let’s relax with the man who could do all sorts of magic without a teleprompter. The first one is in the video below. The rest can be found here. Have a great weekend everybody!
Finally, SOMEBODY with priorities!
Some of us have been waiting for this ever since we watched George and the family enjoying their futuristic amenities. Enjoy…
Jon Stewart departed “The Daily Show” last night in favor of guest host John Oliver — Stewart will return in September after spending the summer directing a movie. His break is coming none too soon.
As he prepares to shoot his film (a Middle East-set drama called “Rosewater“), Stewart’s continued to rely on the same tics — goofy accents, for instance — he has since taking over the show in 1999, and seemingly has struggled to find ways to cover Barack Obama’s second term.
The author did take Stewart to task for recently doing a stale Bush joke but the general tone here is easy to figure out. The “tics” that no one ever seemed to have a problem with when Republicans or Tea Party were the nightly targets are bothering the faithful now that they’re used in conjunction with mocking The Lightbringer.
There is even the perfunctory and lame, “Well, it’s been difficult to make fun of Obama up until now blah, blah, blah…” nonsense.
Trust me, it hasn’t .
A “modern era” football player who was so very old school. There’s a reason quarterbacks used to drink a lot.
What’s more delicious than a fast food burger when you’re in a hurry? Knowing that you’ve just sent the food police running for the Xanax.
Puerto Rico should get statehood for this alone:
Have a great weekend everyone!
I don’t even want to know. OK, I kind of do. This isn’t a Brony thing, but it will probably become one. Off to read A Clockwork Orange as a palate cleanser.
In the glorious history of PJ Tatler Photo Caption Contests could this be the best photo ever? We post – you decide.
Here is the report from ABC News:
President Obama had a bit of a lipstick problem at the White House Tuesday evening.
A bright red stain appearing on the collar of his white shirt as he took the stage for a speech. The president quickly called out the woman responsible for the big red smudge saying he didn’t want to get in trouble with First Lady Michelle Obama.
“I want to thank everybody who’s here for the incredible warmth of the reception. A sign of the warmth is the lipstick on my collar. I have to say I think I know the culprit,” the president said to laughter at the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month celebration at the White House. “Where’s Jessica Sanchez? It wasn’t Jessica. It was her aunt. Where is she? Auntie, right there. Look at this. Look at this. I just want everybody to witness.”
“I do not want to get in trouble with Michelle, so I’m calling you out right in front of everybody,” he joked.
So now that you know the news, I expect many colorful captions speculating on the “real story” about how a lipstick kiss landed on Obama’s collar.
For the duration of this contest, I am suspending our usual rules of “be nice and stay classy because the media is watching.” My reasoning is that the media is too busy doing the kissing to be watching now anyway.
Here again, in case you missed it, are the winners from our last contest where a vicious “Caption King” battle was waged, resulting in a dethronement.
Please note that new contest readers are encouraged to enter because they have an equal chance of winning and should never be intimated by our distinguished court of Caption Kings.
Good luck and remember that even though our contest rules have been suspended, this is still a “family” web site.
We should all take a break from politics to argue about food preferences once in a while. If you’re ever bored on social media, start a good In-N-Out vs Five Guys discussion. Unless you’re a Five Guys person, of course.
Tonight’s culinary question involves favorite hot dog toppings. I’m pretty big tent when it comes to this.
Hey, if they’re not going to get me to a Mars colony any time soon, they might as well do something useful here.
The immortal Richard Pryor with a perfect description of what we’ve heard from The Idiot King and Company this week.
Having lived in the southwestern United States my whole life Cinco de Mayo has always been a party time but I hear rumors from the other end of the country that people treat it as a junior St. Patrick’s Day back there now. The world is going crazy and a bar holiday is falling on a weekend. Let’s take that as a hint and enjoy ourselves a little. Here are some guacamole and salsa recipes for those of you who want to get a little fancier. And if you have a favorite, feel free to share it with us in the comments. I may try every one I run across this weekend.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Here’s an amusing little gem that, sadly, a few conservative sites were duped by today.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was denied a second slice of pizza today at an Italian eatery in Brooklyn.
The owners of Collegno’s Pizzeria say they refused to serve him more than one piece to protest Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban,which would limit the portions of soda sold in the city.
Bloomberg was having an informal working lunch with city comptroller John Liu at the time and was enraged by the embarrassing prohibition. The owners would not relent, however, and the pair were forced to decamp to another restaurant to finish their meal.
There were a couple of lessons to be learned here. The first is that, while you may hate Google, its search engine is still your friend. The Daily Currant tells you it’s a satire site in the Google results.
The second, which has been mentioned here more than once, is that our current crop of political overlords have become so absurd and our press so unquestioning that seems as if The Onion an its counterparts can’t be ridiculous enough to make it clear their stories are satire anymore.
If an alien landed in Washington today and asked me to describe our leader, all I would have to do is show him video footage of two events just days apart.
First would be video of our leader performing at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (WHCD) on Saturday evening. There, the alien would watch as President Obama delivered a series of hilarious jokes with masterful timing.
The alien would notice that our leader is a showman who loves crowds that love him back and certainly the audience at the WHCD fell into that category. I would then tell the alien that our leader is at his best when the occasion calls for him to be cool, hip, and self-effacing — but Obama also performed his comedic routine with a less-than-humble attitude that drove the crowd wild.
After seeing our leader’s performance even the alien would have been smitten.
But then came Tuesday’s press conference marking the President’s first 100 days of his second term.
There the alien would see video of a totally dysfunctional leader with a performance reminiscent of his sleepy first debate against Mitt Romney.
From the press conference it became obvious that the President has upped his blame game to new levels. However, he seems oblivious to the fact that he was reelected to actually lead our nation through turbulent times — not just react to events of the time.
You know it’s a bad performance when one of Obama’s head cheerleaders by the name of Dana Milbank from the Washington Post writes:
Obama is correct about the dysfunction, (in Congress) and the difficulty of passing even uncontroversial bills. But his stance was frustratingly passive, as if what happens in Congress is out of his hands. It’s the president’s job to lead, and to bang heads if necessary, regardless of any “permission structure.” Obama seemed oddly like a spectator, as if he had resigned himself to a reactive presidency.
You can watch it all here and judge for yourself.
So after watching these two very different performances, I suspect that the alien would be confused and ask what happened to our leader between Saturday and Tuesday.
I would explain that Saturday was just an entertainment performance whereas on Tuesday he was performing his real job.
Naturally the alien (like anyone) would suggest that our leader make what he did on Saturday his real job since he was so much better at it.
My reply would be that our leader already tries that as much as possible and it’s called campaigning. But at some point campaigning must end because there is his all important legacy at stake that can not be uploaded onto a teleprompter and performed in front of a crowd.
President Obama must learn that leadership is a non-comedic performance for which he currently garners little applause.
Ultimately it is leadership, not blame, that will determine his legacy and that legacy is not looking too good right now.
Why Are US Taxpayers Paying Millions to Put Foreign Airline Logos on British Soccer Team Jerseys and Stadiums?
Take a look at the logo on the jerseys in this photo.
They’re Manchester City FC, one of the largest and richest soccer teams at the top flight of English soccer, which is the most watched sports league in the entire world. City won the Premiere League last year and are in second place this year. City is a giant team and has a habit of splashing the cash to buy its players after other teams have developed them. Four of the league’s top 10 highest-paid players are on City’s roster.
Before your eyes glaze over, no, this post won’t be about soccer. Most Americans hate it, so I hardly ever write about it though I could write this page off about soccer if I felt like it. Did you see that Real Madrid-Borussia Dortmund match yesterday? I won’t do that to you.
This post is about where the money to put that logo on those jerseys ultimately came from.
The logo belongs to Etihad Airline. Etihad is one of two state-owned airlines belonging to the United Arab Emirates. The other is Emirates Airline. Like Etihad, Emirates is a major player in European soccer. Currently two of Europe’s giants, Arsenal in London (disclosure: I’m a Gooner) and Paris Saint-Germain in France, have Emirates as their major sponsor. Arsenal’s state-of-the-art stadium is named after the airline, as is Manchester City’s named after Etihad.
Etihad paid Manchester City a whopping 400 million British pounds to put their name on the team, about $600 to $700 million US dollars depending on how many the Fed decided to print today. Emirates paid Arsenal $239 million for its sponsorship, and PSG just inked a new deal with Emirates for an undisclosed sum known to be in the millions. They just bought David Beckham among several huge and expensive player buys like mercenary Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Along the way, Emirates also inked deals with soccer’s Chelsea FC (another London giant, currently in third place in the EPL ahead of Arsenal in fourth), tennis, and huge new deal with F1 racing for 172 million pounds. Per year.
The point: Neither of these airlines are hurting for cash. At all. They could buy a medium-sized US state if they felt like it. They’re owned by a government that lives atop an ocean of oil, and they’re rich enough to throw hundreds of millions of dollars into naming stadiums, plastering their logos on shirts, and sponsoring sporting events all over the world, but mostly well outside the United States. These airlines buy a few Boeings along with a lot of Airbus planes, and barely generate any commerce within the US. In fact they actually compete with US airlines that fly direct to the UAE.
But you’re helping pay for Etihad and Emirates to sponsor sports. Here’s how.
According to Avio News, the US Export-Import Bank is providing both airlines — which are state-owned by oil sheiks, remember — over $1 billion in loan guarantees.
The US agency supported significant investment in the Middle East, another area with a very strong growth in the sector: overall Emirates and Etihad Airways received guarantees for 615.9 and 593 million dollars respectively.
US taxpayers back those guarantees. Aren’t you happy to know that you’re ultimately standing behind making millionaires of men who play a sport that, as an American, you probably hate?
Delta, for one US airline, isn’t happy about the sponsorships, I mean loan guarantees. Delta wrote a letter to Congress in February, stating that the Ex-Im Bank’s cozy relationship with overseas airlines costs the US airline industry up to 7,500 jobs and $684 million per year.
Why, that’s almost as much as Etihad and Emirates pays to stick their names on soccer jerseys and make weasels like Samir Nasri rich beyond their work ethics.
Later in the week I’ll have a bit more about the Ex-Im Bank’s habit of sending our dollars, and jobs, to overseas companies.
Vanity Fair is out with their May issue featuring a photographic essay entitled, The Lean-Back President, proving (for those who had any doubt) that President Obama is, in fact, a “laid-back president.” (So glad we finally have conclusive evidence of this revelation, considering all his vacations, golf outings, and glamorous parties at tax-payer expense.)
But apparently Vanity Fair felt the need to answer “critics” who think that President Obama is “too buttoned-up.” Seriously, I am not making this up, for the piece states:
Barack Obama receives ample flak from critics who say that he is too buttoned-up and reserved to thrive in an office that historically has required its fair share of cajoling, socializing, and even arm-twisting. But a thorough examination of the photo archives of White House photographer Pete Souza reveals quite the opposite: Obama can, in fact, be remarkably laid-back. His body language in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, and other top Cabinet-level meetings indicates a man who is ready to let it all hang loose. He’s often in shirtsleeves, with his feet up, and frequently will be the only member of a meeting with a knee on the table. Below, a photographic investigation of the “lean-back” president.
Our contest photo was captioned above by Vanity Fair and now, here is a second contest photo with its Vanity Fair caption.
I am sure that PJM readers can write more colorful captions than Vanity Fair, so go ahead and “make my day.”
Of course we have rules that must be obeyed and they are, “be nice and stay classy because the media is watching.” (After all, PJM is a “family” web site.) And, if you need further assistance, read how our last contest winners managed to restrain themselves.
Because of the unusual nature of this contest featuring two photos, please note, photo one or photo two when submitting your entry.
Have fun, but parents please teach your children to keep their feet off the priceless antiques when visiting the White House.
According to Jay Leno, President Obama should just treat the terrorist prison at Gitmo like a business.
JAY LENO: President Obama held a press conference earlier today, and he said he still wants to close the Guantanamo Bay prison facility, but he doesn’t know how to do it. He should do what he always does: declare it a small business and tax it out of existence.It will be gone in a minute. Be gone in a minute! One month! Be out of there!
Obama has at least a couple other options: Make the terrorists subject to ObamaCare’s mandates and then jail them for not paying, or treat Gitmo like a coal-fired power plant.
This is the kind of thing people who aren’t thinking about politics 24/7 come up with.
In twenty five years on the road I’ve never tried to influence legislation or send people to war, so my answer is no.
The politician-as-comedian is the hardest trick to pull off. Whatever you think of him as a president, there is no denying that with a script in front of him, Barack Obama can deliver a joke with timing and poise. Others – notably Boris Johnson – can be genuinely funny off the cuff. But most politicians are neither natural actors nor naturally witty: a large number of people who go into politics are dry, humourless policy wonks. Watching them deliver a joke – or, worse, come up with one themselves – is like watching the ape-men around the obelisk at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey: they know it’s important, but its workings are a mystery.
This pretty much describes 99% of the Progressive trolls I get on Twitter. Oddly enough, I picture every one of them (they never use their real pictures) looking exactly like this.
Legends don’t come around everyday, and most of them don’t last as long as George Jones. The man’s career started in 1945, survived alcoholism, drug use, a bus crash, a car crash, pretty much everything life could throw at him and he could throw at himself.
I wasn’t a George Jones fan growing up and can’t say I’m one now, as I’m not a fan of country music. But the man’s sheer ability to survive and thrive, and that voice, deserve a tip of the hat. No one will fill George Jones’ shoes.
Duck Dynasty destroyed American Idol last night. Jase’s beard > Nicki Minaj’s “boob window.”
Duck Dynasty shows no signs of slowing. The A&E series’ season finale drew a record 9.6 million viewers during its one-hour episode — and an equally impressive 5.5 million adults 18-49.
That haul in the key demo puts it ahead of all of cable and broadcast offerings for the night — including American Idol. Duck Dynasty‘s 4.3 rating with adults 18-49 rating tops the preliminary showing for Idol (3.2 rating) by 34 percent.
Duck Dynasty’s appeal is not difficult to understand. The Robertsons are about a million times greater and more interesting than the Kardashians. Duck Dynasty features a loveable American family built on bedrock Christian values who struck it rich through invention and hard work, and their success has not fundamentally changed them. They remember being poor and have stayed close now that they’re rich. The men are all hilarious but fundamentally sincere, the women are all beautiful but not self-absorbed, and the kids don’t seem to have gotten caught up in the whirlwind around them too much. The Robertsons work, they hunt, they laugh, they hunt, and they hunt. And they — gasp — pray at the end of every single show, reminiscent of the “good nights” that always wound up episodes of The Waltons. Duck Dynasty is safe to watch with your kids, and kids tend to love it because it’s actually funny and doesn’t talk down to them or try too hard to be cool. It’s a fundamentally conservative, traditional show in the tradition of, believe it or not, Father Knows Best and Ozzie and Harriet. With duck calls and the occasional explosion.
Three years of solar activity in three minutes. And you thought NASA didn’t do anything fun anymore.
Headline from The Onion:
Following a string of highly publicized breakups, sources confirmed today that singer-songwriter Taylor Swift is now dating the 22-foot Watertown, MA Sea Hawk pleasure cruiser in which alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev sought shelter while evading the FBI Friday. “Taylor was seen cozying up to the Watertown boat over dessert at Finale last night, and we can confirm that the two are officially an item,” Hollywoodlife.com blogger Bonnie Fuller reported of the budding romance between the 23-year-old multiplatinum crooner and the bloodied, bullet-ridden watercraft, nicknaming the couple “Swiftboat.”
Let’s all gather around the virtual water cooler, relax and be grateful that, so far, this week is quieter than last.
Jay-Z and wife Beyonce visited Cuba earlier in April, despite the fact that ordinary tourist travel to the communist island remains illegal. Not to worry, though — the pair got the US Treasury Department’s authorization for the trip, under the rubric of “educational exchange.”
No press reported the pair engaging in any seminars, teaching any school classes or doing anything that appeared to be educational in any way. They celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in a nation that is stuck in a time warp and jails and tortures dissidents.
Rapper Pitbull fired at Jay-Z and Beyonce Sunday, tweeting that he was “born politically incorrect.”
I’m cuban american i was born politically incorrect here is my open letter daleee sovo.co/77a1cfa19a
— Pitbull (@Pitbull) April 14, 2013
The link goes to a new Pitbull track that schools listeners on Cuba’s history and politics. It discusses the Cuban Missile Crisis, Elian Gonzalez (which upset many in the Cuban-American community during the Clinton years), the Bay of Pigs and gets patriotic when Pitbull says “Let’s break down ‘us.’ That’s right, that’s U-S, God bless.”
Pitbull also raps for Cuba libre:
It’s the freedom that we ride for/ It’s the freedom that we die for/ C-U-B-A/ Hope to see you free one day
The rap’s freedom refrain may get overshadowed by its silly play of the race card.
“Question of the night, would they have messed with Mr. Carter if he was white?” Pitbull rapped, using Jay-Z’s real last name in a reference to critics of the trip.
Answer of the day: Of course. Many of Jay-Z’s critics also criticize Michael Moore, Oliver Stone and Sean Penn for praising the Castros and Hugo Chavez’s of the world. Race has nothing to do with criticizing trips to Cuba. It’s not the race, it’s the kowtowing to communism that upsets people.
Overall, Pitbull’s rap may be a sign that he’s coming back to the Republican fold after voting for Obama.
Comedian Jonathan Winters, whose breakneck improvisations inspired Robin Williams, Jim Carrey and many others, has died at age 87.
Winters died Wednesday night in Montecito, Calif., of natural causes, his agent Richard Lawrence of Rebel Entertainment Partners confirmed to CBS News. He was surrounded by family and friends.
Winters was a master of improvisational comedy, with a grab bag of eccentric personalities and facial expressions. Characters such as the dirty old lady Maude Frickert were based on people Winters knew growing up in Ohio.
There were few things more enjoyable than watching Winters on the old Tonight Show, cracking Carson up while improving about something seemingly without any entertainment value. He could grab almost any inanimate object and turn it into ten minutes of solid comedy. Here’s a quickie:
Crockumentary filmmaker Michael Moore was recently on a Reddit Q&A. Reddit’s readers lean left and tend to be irreverent. His chat didn’t go as he probably anticipated.
Moore elicited another 511 downvotes by saying that he was not fat. When asked this question about his expansive waist-line: “When will you do a movie on obesity in America,” Moore, likely with chicken grease-soaked fingers, angrily responded:
HAHAHAHA! OMG these posts are sooooo funny. Now I know why we have so many right wing comedians and humorists on TV and in the movies. (Note: That was irony)
The implication, obviously, is that only conservatives point out that he is fat. Redditors openly mocked the whale-like film maker, with one quipping:
lol, you do realize reddit is notorious for being very, very liberal, right? The fact that you are being chastised and downvoted here shows that even most liberals find you to be a disgusting, hypocritical douche bag.
Maybe Michael Moore is a more unifying figure than I’d realized.
A week ago, former comedian Jim Carrey publicly advocated for restricting the law-abiding citizen’s access to firearms. He was militating against a right plainly spelled out in the Constitution.
This week, Jim Carrey has put his name to a letter advocating relaxing drug laws and clemency for drug offenders. The letter also hints at restoring voting rights to felons at the federal level, which up to now has been a state issue. These same people fight against voter ID, which protects the voting rights of Americans who have broken no laws.
Whatever you may think of the drug war, and I question the growing militarization of ordinary police forces, Carrey’s two positions are common on the left: Against the law-abiding citizen’s right to bear arms, simultaneously for the law breaker whose actions make the law-abiding citizen’s self-defense necessary. “Free Mumia” goes with universities hiring domestic terrorists goes with “gun free zones” that help killers plan massacres.
Carrey and other liberals do not see the contradiction here. Your right to bear arms, written into the Constitution, does not count. Yet they will find shadows and penumbras to create rights that are not written there.
On issues of life, liberals tend to favor the most radical policies on abortion, while they oppose the death penalty for our worst criminals. In court this week they won a victory allowing people of any age to purchase a powerful abortifacient drug, meaning children will end up buying, using, and probably being harmed by this drug. When a girl is harmed and sues the manufacturer, the same liberals will stand up and denounce “Big Pharma.” Liberals are literally turning a blind eye now to the ongoing trial in Pennsylvania, in which the details of an abortion mill/charnel house are being laid bare. Kermit Gosnell’s trial is among the most grisly in American history. But the lives of those children he and his employees callously snuffed and snipped out do not matter to liberals, at all. Their silence says all that needs to be said. Liberals who favor the death of the thousands of children killed at Gosnell’s slaughter house will oppose meting out the death penalty to the doctor who systematically killed them.
On the other hand, President Obama, Hillary Clinton and other liberals incessantly claim that their policies are — sing along if you’d like — “for the children.” MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry advocates for the collective against the family in an ad, yet pushes against any collective disgust or restrictions when it comes to abortion. She says children matter to all of us, yet if a child is born while a doctor is trying to kill her, that child does not matter at all. Gosnell is free to keep her feet in a jar, as he did with many of his victims.
Liberals also claim to be be voices for the powerless against the powerful. If they really cared about the children, and were really advocates of the powerless against the powerful, would they not see in the Gosnell trial a chance to side with both? Likewise, they claim to be women’s advocates, yet women were victims at Gosnell’s horror lab. He employed a person with no medical education at all to anesthetize patients. Women were injured and died due to his unsafe and unsanitary practices, practices government ignored for years.
Liberals have nothing at all to say about any of this. Nothing.
And they apparently see no contradiction between their rhetoric and their true policies. If liberals have a conscience, even the alleged crimes of Kermit Gosnell does not sear it.
The mental jujitsu that it takes to be a modern liberal doesn’t stop there. If you’re a law-abiding Christian church leader in America, the Obama administration wants to dictate to you, tell you whom to hire and what products you will pay for through insurance. But if you’re a drug cartel operative in Mexico with designs on expanding your business in the US, liberals want to make sure your path across the border is smooth. Liberals create “free speech zones” on university campuses that explicitly restrict free speech that liberals don’t like. Liberals claim to be for education, yet always side with unions that oppose firing incompetent teachers. Liberals claim to be racially tolerant, yet routinely launch racist attacks against minorities who disagree with them, as Clarence Thomas, Ted Cruz and our own Allen West can testify. Liberals claim to be pro-woman, yet demonize women leaders like Margaret Thatcher, Sarah Palin and Condoleezza Rice. Liberals claim to be pro-science, yet ignore the science on the beginning of life and on climate and everything else that contradicts their political point of view. They claim to be lovers of reason, yet get into a discussion with one and if it doesn’t go their way, liberals tend to become the most hysterical shriekers on earth. Despite their claims to be open-minded and free-thinkers, the America that liberals are trying to create has no room at all for anyone who disagrees with them, on anything. Their America would consist of endless purges as political correctness evolves and metastasizes, a movie we’ve seen before in France and Cambodia. Liberals claim to stand for freedom, yet consistently expand the power of a less and less accountable bureaucratic state. They’re for due process for foreign terrorists, against due process for the American farmer on whose land an endangered species resides. They’re pro-choice, as long as you choose what they want you to choose. Choose to go to church, listen to Rush Limbaugh, hunt, or vote Republican and watch how tolerant and pro-choice they really are.
Take it all in, and it leaves little room for the existence of a well-meaning liberal. There must be some, but the vast majority must be either dupes who do not really understand the effects of their beliefs, they have succumbed to bullying or are liberals just to be seen as cool, or they know exactly what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and who stands in their way and must therefore be destroyed.
The city already has laws covering the punching and groping that some of the city’s fake super heroes and cartoon characters are accused of. Those laws are adequate to prosecuting criminal behavior. So it’s not the actual behavior that’s the problem. Follow the money.
One bill would require registration, as well as a permission slip proving that the character involved has been licensed, for anyone appearing as a costumed character. The other bill would go farther to ban costumed characters outright.
The CBS story goes on to talk about a Cookie Monster who shoved a kid, a Mario who groped a woman, and a Spiderman who punched a mom when she told him that she didn’t have any money to pay him for photos with her kids. Three incidents in a city the size of New York are not a rampant crime wave. All of that behavior is already illegal whether a dude is dressed up in a costume or not. Councilman Peter Vallone says police don’t have adequate tools to deal with fake superheroes, which is absurd. New York’s finest deal with tougher crooks every day. They can deal with a perv wearing a fake mustache. The real problem is that the megacorporations aren’t getting their cut from the otherwise ne’er do wells who spend their days dressed up to scratch out a living rather than getting real jobs. The megacorps own the Democrat party, and they will get their due.
Vallone said he has spoken with Times Square Alliance president Tim Tompkins, who agreed that “something needs to be done,” and will be working with the councilman on the legislation. Disney and Nickelodeon, whose characters are represented without license by the costumed performers, will also be involved, Vallone said.
If the corps get their due, NYC can charge them taxes.
While the United States Air Force is grounding its jets, Americans can’t even tour the White House, North Korea is threatening war and the economy is still in the doldrums, President Barack Obama says “Don’t stop the paaaaarty!”
To make a very obvious point, the media would crucify any other president who acted this way.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control just responded to Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) about the permission granted to Jay-Z and Beyonce to celebrated their wedding anniversary in Cuba.
According to the Treasury Department, “It is our understanding that the travelers in question traveled to Cuba pursuant to an educational exchange trip organized by a group authorized by OFAC to sponsor and organize programs to promote people-to-people contact in Cuba.”
“OFAC’s regulations and guidelines require that such trips involve a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that result in meaningful interaction between the U.S. travelers and individuals in Cuba,” said the letter from Alastair Fitzpayne, assistant secretary for legislative affairs. “OFAC does not restrict the subject matter of the educational activities so long as they are designed to result in meaningful interaction with the Cuban people, and travelers pursuing a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities may engage in non-educational activities off-hours.”
The organizations pulling together such trips aren’t required to run the names of travelers through the government to be licensed, but must supply licensing information to travel service providers.
“If the tourist activities undertaken by Beyonce and Jay-Z in Cuba are classified as an educational exchange trip, then it is clear that the Obama Administration is not serious about denying the Castro regime an economic lifeline that US tourism will extend to it,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “That was a wedding anniversary vacation that was not even disguised as a cultural program. As more human rights activists engage in hunger strikes, I don’t think they will see any evidence of how this scam endeavor will help them become independent of the regime.”
Here is something veddy interesting to consider as you go about your average day.
It looks like North Korea is set to launch a mid-range missile on Wednesday, April 10th. This could be a bluff but maybe not. The missile could be nuclear but hopefully not. The Express UK reports:
North Korea to ‘launch missile TOMORROW’ after warning foreigners to evacuate South
NORTH Korea has completed preparations for a mid-range missile launch tomorrow from its east coast, officials in Seoul have revealed – just hours after foreigners living in South Korea were warned to quit the country.
Now consider that North Korea is 14 hours ahead of Washington D.C., and tonight at 7:30 p.m. President Obama is hosting a lavish party/concert celebrating Memphis Soul music with Justin Timberlake headlining an all-star cast. As the Weekly Standard reports:
On Barack and Michelle Obama’s schedule for today, this event is listed:
7:30PM THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY host a concert celebrating Memphis Soul music as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series; THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks
As the White House has previously announced, Justin Timberlake (who will be making his White House debut), Al Green, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper, Joshua Ledet, Sam Moore, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples, and others will be performing at the exclusive event.
So just when the White House party begins it will be 9:30 a.m. in North Korea. This conceivably means that President Obama could be dancing and singing while North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il is launching.
Just think, Obama could be the first president to preside over a nuclear dance party. Or to state this in a more familiar historical context: “Obama fiddles while South Korea burns.”
The 64-year-old said he “doesn’t have a strong feeling either way” on gay marriage but suggested it could be manipulated to allow fathers to pass on their estates to their sons without being taxed.
He said: “Could a father not marry his son?”
When reminded about laws which prohibit sexual relationships between family members, he responded: “It’s not incest between men”, adding: “Incest is there to protect us from inbreeding, but men don’t breed.”
The father-of-two said: “It seems to me that now they’re fighting for the name. I worry that it means somehow we debase, or we change, what marriage is. I just worry about that.”
The host, Josh Zepps, responded that moral opprobrium would keep fathers from marrying their sons to avoid taxes. Which makes Zepps a Bible-thumber and a bigot, since moral opprobrium has no place in secular policy debates. Plus, you can’t legislate morality, or so we’re often told.
A gay rights group responded by confusing Irons with one of the roles he has portrayed on TV.
A spokesman for lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewall, told Huffington Post UK: “Few people will agree with Jeremy Irons’ bizarre ‘concerns’ about equal marriage. Sadly his comments do seem to indicate he’s taken his role as a Pope in The Borgias a little too seriously.”
There are currently laws against incest, just as there are currently laws against polygamy. But upon what are those laws based, and will they withstand court challenges?
There will be unintended consequences to changing the nature of marriage, whether they take the form that Irons discusses or some other form. There are always unintended consequences to every policy or cultural change. I don’t know what those consequences will be, but there will be some. To deny that there will be some if we change marriage is to deny reality.
Avoid this post if you don’t want the story and ending of Bioshock Infinite spoiled for you. You’ve been warned.
Yesterday I graded Irrational Games’ Bioshock Infinite a 3.5 out of 5. I hadn’t played the game to its ending yet, so the grade was based on what I had seen and done in the game up to what turned out to be the final boss battle. What the game offered up to that point was very good but not great, hence the 3.5 rating. It felt too derivative of the first Bioshock. That turned out to be unfair to the game.
Last night I finally got through that final boss battle. It was absolutely epic, and demanded that I use just about every tactic available in the game. The only tactic I didn’t use was the sniper rifle from the perch atop the airship (if you’ve gotten to that point, you know the spot I’m talking about). But I had to use the skyline, the targeting from the skyline, the leap attacks, the vigors and traps, especially Devil’s Kiss and Possession, the RPG, the shotgun, Elizabeth’s skill with the quantum tears, and probably half a dozen other weapons and tactics that blurred by during the battle. So everything up to that final battle had been preparing me, the player, to win it. Every single battle made a real difference, and every tactic the game offered actually mattered. You can’t really beat the game without mastering probably 90% of the tactics and weapons in it. Along the way you also pick up clues to what the story means, and if you fail to scavenge well, you won’t understand the ending even after you’ve seen it. Bioshock Infinite is very demanding, but also very rewarding.
After the final battle, you’re taken through a series of cutscenes that show who you and Elizabeth really are, why they have been brought together, and what has to happen next to undo all the damage that Comstock, the prophet who built the false utopia in the sky, has done. Along the way, you learn who he is, too.
I don’t want to spoil the ending too much or go over ground that has already been written up well by others who’ve beaten the game. But Bioshock Infinite’s finale is mindbending and amazing. It ties the first Bioshock together with Infinite in a strange, brief scene in which Elizabeth opens up a tear to escape from danger, and that tear leads to Rapture, the city at the bottom of the sea that features in the first Bioshock. That brief trip, and your ability to control the bathysphere, is a key to understanding the quantum theory that drives Bioshock Infinite and gives the game its title. It also neatly connects both games while sparking questions about what it all really means. Players who get hung up on this or that boss or character may miss the big picture: Rapture and Columbia are the same city, in parallel universes. Once that truth is revealed, a cascade of other truths about the game follow. In the end, you’re left with what on the surface appears to be a downbeat, melancholy conclusion, but turns out to be the only happy outcome possible in the multiverse. All the suffering shown in both dystopias is erased and the villain/hero is redeemed through sacrifice. You have to watch the credits, getting past the cheeky ragtime take on “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” to see that abrupt but happy conclusion. It’s great sci-fi. It’s temping to say that Bioshock deserves to be a movie, but it’s doubtful that a movie could present the full story in all of its detail without running several hours long.
Once you play through the ending and understand it, the Bioshock franchise grows into something that either Rod Serling or Alfred Hitchcock might come up with if they were alive and working in today’s interactive media universe. Yes, it’s that good.
Having seen and grokked the ending, Bioshock Infinite now gets a 4.9 out of 5.