Monday, July 27, 2015

Less Corn All Around

Voters don't want more corn in their cars:
“Voters across party lines express grave concerns for the impacts of the corn ethanol mandate from the Renewable Fuel Standard that touch many parts of their lives from the cars they drive to the food they buy,” said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners. “They strongly support bi-partisan proposals that would reduce the impact of corn ethanol, and particularly support the EPA reducing the amount of corn ethanol required by law.”
Corn is for dinner, not driving...


Watch out for...wind?
According to the ordinance, “commercial barbecue cookers are not exempt from causing a nuisance odor. If a sufficient number of complaints, representing different households, are reported and an Inspector witnesses the problem, they can issue a Warning Letter.”

The two men continue to laugh in disbelief and explain that other neighbors routinely cook out but no one appears to issuing warnings to them.

“So everyone in the whole world can cook out except me," Jordan can he heard saying.

Graham also says that in order to avoid a warning, the men should first check wind patterns before starting to barbecue—or upgrade their equipment to a newer model designed to curtail smoke and odors.

Graham's friend, who videoed the entire scene says, "We can't control the wind, God does that."
Unfortunately, some local bureaucrats think they are God...

Dues For Blues

Well, good:
The Employee Rights Act, introduced Monday by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah., and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., would allow union members to tell their bosses they don't want their share of dues going to certain candidates or causes, without fear of retaliation.

It also would seek to stop intimidation tactics by requiring secret ballots for employee elections regarding issues like unionizing or striking.

Any bid to restrict union political donations could have a big impact on Democrats, who get the lion's share of union campaign money. According to the Center for Union Facts, unions in 2012 contributed nearly $90 million to Democratic Party and aligned organizations.

"Forty percent of the union members are Republicans, yet virtually 100 percent of money that they've raised, and it's considerable money, goes to elect Democrats," Hatch told Fox News.
It's your money, but it's their party...

Web Wars

The Clintons will not be pleased:
The website, “A Scandal a Day,” currently only asks viewers: “Are you being harassed, stalked, intimidated or persecuted by a person in position of power or public trust?”

However, according to WND, she plans to add more specific wording on Bill Clinton.

“In light of what’s happened with Bill Cosby, I thought I’m going to add to that,” Willey reportedly told radio host Aaron Klein. “‘If you or any one you know has been harassed, sexually harassed, assaulted or intimidated by Bill Clinton please send your name and email address and you can be assured that your anonymity will be ensured and it will be honored and you will be safe and we will make sure that you are safe.’”
The past is always there...

The Media's Miscalculation

Yes, they did:

Property Values

As they should:
After the tough-on-crime 90s, the conservative side of the political spectrum has often been presumed to be more friendly to law enforcement. With a proliferation of groups like the Institute for Justice and Right on Crime, and the launch of criminal justice reform projects at conservative mainstays like the Heritage Foundation and FreedomWorks, that tide has turned.

"It's a civil liberties issue, it's a due process issue, but first and foremost, it's a property rights issue," Jason Pye, director of justice reform for FreedomWorks, said. "This is legal plunder. What they're doing is wrong, and we need to fix this... I've been surprised at how activists have embraced this issue."
Due process is for everybody...

Breaking The Bank

About that highway/bank bill:
“We’re not taking up the Senate bill,” McCarthy declared to a roomful of reporters in his office.

Instead, McCarthy urged the Senate to take up a short-term House-passed bill which extends federal highway funding for five months, without renewing the Ex-Im Bank charter. He called the House bill the “best option” for Congress before money for highways, bridges and mass transit runs out on Friday.

McCarthy’s declaration is a blow not only to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) had teamed up to craft the bipartisan, long-term highway bill.

It’s also a blow to backers of the Ex-Im Bank, who had hoped the 81-year-old institution would be revived by catching a ride on the back of the Senate transportation bill. The charter for the bank, which provides loan guarantees to help U.S. corporations sell goods overseas, expired on June 30.
Leadership? Never mind...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Wave

Ted Cruz isn't done yet:
Cruz explained that the “Washington cartel,” which he said is behind such deals that ultimately benefit “a handful of giant corporations” and drain taxpayers’ pockets, is an ugly outgrowth of establishment politics on both sides of the aisle.

“It’s career politicians in both parties who get in bed with lobbyists and special interests,” Cruz said. “It’s why we’re bankrupting our kids and grandkids.”

The senator noted as much in an email blast to supporters Saturday, saying that “today we have government of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, and for the lobbyists.”

Cruz told Limbaugh there’s mounting frustration among voters — particularly those who put their trust in GOP office holders — because the Republican majority is looking nothing like one.

“We see so many campaign conservatives that pretend to be conservative on the campaign trail but they don’t govern according to what they promised us on the campaign trail,” he added.
Sounds like someone who's gearing up for a long fight...

They Say They Want A Revolution

What could go wrong?
“The atmosphere is a little similar to the time after 1968 in Europe. I can feel, maybe not a revolutionary mood, but something like widespread impatience”.
These were the words of European council president Donald Tusk, 48 hours after Greece’s paymasters imposed the most punishing bail-out measures ever forced on a debtor nation in the eurozone’s 15-year history.
A former Polish prime minister and a politician not prone to hyperbole, Tusk’s comments revealed Brussels’ fears of a bubbling rebellion across the continent.
“When impatience becomes not an individual but a social experience of feeling, this is the introduction for revolutions” said Tusk.
“I am really afraid of this ideological or political contagion.”
Historically speaking, European countries have not fared well when their people become "impatient..."

Rainbows Over Kenya

President Obama learns that not everyone in other countries agree with him
Mr Obama said that as an African-American, he was “painfully aware” of what it was like to be treated as a lesser citizen in law in his own country and that such discriminatory policies ended up on the wrong side of history.
"When you start treating people differently, not because of any harm they’re doing anybody but because they’re doing different, that’s the path whereby freedoms begin to erode, and bad things happen,” Mr Obama told reporters at State House in Nairobi.
“And when government gets in the habit of treating people differently, those habits start to spread. I am unequivocal on this. The idea they are going to be treated differently or abused because of who they love is wrong, full stop.”
But Mr Kenyatta, who was warned by senior members of his party not to comment on the issue in the run-up to Mr Obama’s historic visit, insisted gay rights in conservative Kenya was a “non-issue”.
“We share so many values, our common love for democracy, entrepreneurship, value for families. But there are some things we must admit we don't share, our culture, our societies don't accept,” he told a frowning Mr Obama.
“It’s very difficult to impose that on people that which they themselves do not accept. For Kenyans today the issue of gay rights is really a non-issue. We want to focus on other areas that are day-to-day living for people.”
Maybe it should be, but was it really Obama's place to lecture the president of Kenya when he was standing right there?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Three The Conspiracy Way

Green paranoia:
Professor Peter Wadhams said he feared being labelled a “looney” over his suspicion that the deaths of the scientists were more than just an ‘extraordinary’ coincidence.
But he insisted the trio could have been murdered and hinted that the oil industry or else sinister government forces might be implicated.
The three scientists he identified - Seymour Laxon and Katherine Giles, both climate change scientists at University College London, and Tim Boyd of the Scottish Association for marine Science - all died within the space of a few months in early 2013.
Professor laxon fell down a flight of stairs at a New year’s Eve party at a house in Essex while Dr Giles died when she was in collision with a lorry when cycling to work in London. Dr Boyd is thought to have been struck by lightning while walking in Scotland.
Obviously God hates environmentalists...

Springtime For Outrage

A liberal discovers Mel Brooks:
“I understand the intent is satire,” says Jeffrey Imm, who is organizing the demonstration through his anti-discrimination group, Responsible for Equality And Liberty. “This is the point of morality: some things we have to recognize as absolute evil. When 6 million people are murdered, we don’t view it with knee-slapping, we view it with reverence.”

In The Producers, which is adapted from Brooks’s Oscar-winning 1968 film of the same name, two crooked Broadway producers endeavor to profit off a critical and commercial flop, which they believe they find in Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden, which portrays Hitler as a flamboyant dandy.
But he was a better dancer than Churchill...

Justice Delayed

At long last:
These whistleblowers have now been exonerated by the office that investigates claims of retaliation against federal employees. The Office of Special Counsel announced this week that it has smoothed the way for the Department of Veterans Affairs to make amends to Thompson, Christensen and Honl with monetary settlements, reinstatements to their jobs and by purging their records of negative claims.

“Rather than silencing the messenger, supervisors can use disclosures as opportunities to address problems,” Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said in a statement. “It’s an important sign of progress that the VA settled these cases and provided relief to the employees who suffered retaliation.”
Telling the truth should be rewarded, even if it is better late than never...

Crustacean Conflict

War of the lobstermen:
The northeastern-most part of the US — on the coast where Maine meets New Brunswick — there are two tiny, uninhabited islands in a political gray area. It isn’t because anyone wants the islands — instead, they want the lobster surrounding the islands, and it’s disputed which country has the fishing rights.

During normal times, the dispute seems to be little more than an annoyance. But apparently this year, there are real problems because the price of lobster is so high ($5.50 a pound in that area, compared to $4 the previous year), according to Zane Schwartz in Maclean’s.
We cannot afford a lobster gap...

Mail Call

The fateful four?
At least four emails from the private email account that former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used while in office contained classified information, according to a government inspector’s letter that has deepened the email controversy dogging Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The inspector general who oversees U.S. intelligence agencies wrote in a letter to members of Congress on Thursday that a sampling of 40 of about 30,000 emails sent or received by Clinton found at least four that contained information the government had classified as secret.

The information was classified at the time the emails were sent, according to the inspector general, Charles McCullough.

“This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system,” McCullough said in a joint statement on Friday along with his equivalent at the State Department, Steve Linick.
It depends on what the meaning of "classified" is...

Wall Street: BS Never Sleeps

So Hillary Clinton is ready to take on her friends:
Hillary Rodham Clinton made a case on Friday for weaning Wall Street from an addiction to profits, calling for a change to the capital gains taxes for the highest earners and a string of measures to adjust the balance of power between corporate titans and their employees.

She also supported raising the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 in New York, where a wage board this week suggested such an increase, but she also insisted such a rise is not a one-size-fits-all approach for the whole country.

Amid pressure from the left to take a more aggressive approach toward the financial industry, Mrs. Clinton presented her proposals in a speech at New York University, the second major address of her campaign that focused on economic issues. Her approach — suggesting, among other things, increasing transparency involving stock buybacks and executive compensation — marks the first efforts to take on Wall Street, without the gate-rattling that some more liberal elements of the Democratic Party have called for.
Don't want to rattle it too much, after all...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Zombie Welfare State

No more collecting dead:
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 3311 on July 21, requiring the Department of Human Services to conduct a monthly crosscheck of its aid recipients with the death records kept by the Department of Public Health.

If the crosscheck yields a death record, the department will immediately cancel all public aid benefits to the recipient. To hedge against the hardship of a head of household passing away and a family being left without a safety net, the benefits will continue to flow if individuals in the “assistance unit” in question rely on the payments. The unit includes spouses and children.

Welfare dollars for the deceased have long been an object of scrutiny in Illinois. Millions have been spent on dead residents in the last few years.

Auditor General William Holland found the state had more than 8,200 people on the Medicaid rolls in 2013 who had been dead for more than 60 days. According to the audit, the state spent $12.3 million on 2,850 of those people. The following year the auditor general found nearly 6,000 people enrolled had died more than 60 days prior. Of those, the state spent $3.7 million on 1,111 people.
But they can still vote...

Check Your Anger

Jon Stewart, angry white male:
[Stewart] got incredibly defensive. I remember he was like, What are you trying to say? There’s a tone in your voice. I was like, “There’s no tone. It bothered me. It sounded like Kingfish.” And then he got upset. And he stood up and he was just like, “Fuck off. I’m done with you.” And he just started screaming that to me. And he screamed it a few times. “F**k off! I’m done with you.” And he stormed out. And I didn’t know if I had been fired.
You can't challenge his privilege, after all...

The Document Trail

Darrel Issa says he has proof that the IRS was spying on conservatives:
"You're going to continue to hear more about this. Because when the targeting became evident, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee put in place a subpoena for the documents – a small window of Lois Lerner's e-mails. Internally, the IRS put a preservation order in place -- don't destroy or get rid of any of these documents. These documents and e-mails were in the possession of the IRS. And on March 4, 2014, they destroyed them" he said.

"Imagine if the IRS had given you a summons for you to produce documents. You had them in your possession, and then you destroyed them. What would happen to you? Do you think they would say, 'Oh, darn it!' No, which is why Congress has to stand up for itself. You cannot -- with a duly issued subpoena and eternal preservation order in place -- go out and destroy documents and say there is no consequence to that; nobody's going to be held accountable, and nobody is at fault.
The IRS thought they could. They apparently still do...

Middle Of The Radical Road

The middle revolt:
The radical middle is attracted to populists, outsiders, businessmen such as Perot and Lee Iacocca who have never held office, and to anyone, according to Newsweek, who is the “tribune of anti-insider discontent.” Newt Gingrich rallied the radical middle in 1994—year of the Angry White Male—but his Republican Revolution sputtered to a halt after the government shut down over Medicare in 1995. Once more the radical middle had become estranged from the GOP. “If Perot gets in the race,” a Dole aide told Newsweek, “it will guarantee Clinton’s reelection.”

Well, here we are again, at the beginning of a presidential campaign in which the Republican Party, having lost its hold on the radical middle, is terrified of the electoral consequences. The supporters of Reagan and Perot, of Gingrich and Pat Buchanan, have found another aging billionaire in whom to place their fears and anxieties, their nostalgia and love of country, their disgust with the political and cultural elite, their trepidation at what our nation is becoming.
The Republican establishment ignores it at its own risk...

Question Time For The Queen

Hillary Clinton, investigated at last?
Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.

The request follows an assessment in a June 29 memo by the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence agencies that Mrs. Clinton’s private account contained “hundreds of potentially classified emails.” The memo was written to Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management.
Too bad she couldn't make them magically disappear like the IRS...

The Militaristic Kingdom

It's an armed world after all:
Opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin last month, the $368 million theme park — so the Kremlin hopes — will become an important element in what authorities call vital “military-patriotic work with young people” by the time it is fully operational in 2017. Mr. Putin used the opportunity at the opening of the theme park to announce that Russia would add 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles to its massive nuclear arsenal this year.

The construction of Patriot Park is just the latest sign of a growing zest for all things military that has swept Russia since last year’s annexation of Crimea by heavily armed Russian troops, operating without insignia. In recent months, children’s mock military parades have taken place across the country, tanks and other military hardware have been displayed at a once-pacifist rock festival in Moscow, and the fashionable mode of transportation at wedding parties has become armored personnel carriers.
In Russia, theme park tours you...

Out In The Field

Bowe Bergdahl aparently needed a place to crash:
Captian Greg Van Patten with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office told Fox News Thursday that the county’s marijuana eradication team encountered Bergdahl on Tuesday while serving a search warrant on a home in Redwood City, Calif.

Van Patten said Bergdahl was detained, but ultimately was “determined not to be connected to the operation, at least there was no evidence to suggest he was involved.”

When Bergdahl encountered the law enforcement team, Van Patten said he identified himself while the sheriff’s office reached out to the Department of Defense. The agency confirmed Bergdahl was on leave, and asked for their assistance in getting him back.

Sheriff’s office personnel later drove Bergdahl “to a halfway point,” where he met up with army representatives.
He just "wandered off" again, looking for munchies...

The Living Vampire

Bloodsucking from the dead:
Roughly 15 million pints of blood are donated each year by approximately 9.2 million individuals. Over the course of the same year, about 2.6 million Americans will — sadly — pass away. If hospitals were to harvest the blood from a third of those people, roughly 4.5 million liters would be added to the reservoir.

Contrary to what you might think, blood from cadavers is not only usable, but quite safe.

“For six to eight hours, the blood inside a dead body remains sterile and the red blood cells retain their oxygen-carrying capabilities,” Mary Roach reported in her book Stiff.

In fact, as Roach further described, “For twenty-eight years, the Sklifosovsky Institute [in Moscow] happily transfused cadaver blood, some twenty-five tons of the stuff, meeting 70 percent of its clinics needs.”
If you get a transfusion, thank a dead person?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

None For Us, Please, We're Teens

What's the matter with kids these days?
In 2013, 44% of teenage girls surveyed said they had experienced sex, compared to 51% in 1988.
For teenage boys, the drop was more dramatic. In 1988, 60% reported they’d had sex compared to only 47% in 2013.
Changing sexual mores could explain the overall decline, but one expert believes it is because teens are better educated about sex. Dr. Brooke Bokor, an Adolescent Medicine Specialist at the Children’s National Health System says their smartphones may provide a private, comfortable space to access information.
“They’re looking on the web,” Bokor told the Washington Post. “They’re looking for guidance from parents, guardians and physicians. They can and will make positive decisions for their own health, both sexual and otherwise.”
Next thing you know, they'll be developing moral standards and values...

Portrait In Prayer

The lips that moved?
Lips on the painted image of Jesus’ mother, which is on display at the St. Charbels Church in New South Wales, Australia, are said to be moving along with the recitation Lord’s Prayer, the Daily Mirror reported.

The video began going viral after a man named George Akary posted it to his Facebook page on July 19.

“I saw this during mass and at the end of mass the rosary is prayed,” he wrote in a description accompanying the clip. “I went to the altar and wanted to confirm via recording it … lights are not relevant and there flickering etc as I have seen this occur under various lighting and have considered those possibilities. It is what it is.”

Akary said that the speed of the congregation’s prayer seemed to impact how fast he saw the lips moving.
Even paintings can pray?

Upside Down

A little bit of reverse inspiration:
As Mashable pointed out, the original source of the poem appears to be a teen named Chanie Gorkin, who according to her profile on PoetryNation is — or at one point was — an 11th grade student at an all girls high school in Brooklyn, New York.

Rachel Eber with Eber & Wein Publishing, an independent publisher that runs PoetyNation, told TheBlaze over the phone Friday that Gorkin submitted her poem in a contest in November 2014. She made it to the semifinal round in that contest and her piece was published in an anthology.
Not everything is as it seems...

The Basement Photos

How many kids get to say their dad knew Nirvana?
Maggie’s dad never mentioned that the photos are of Nirvana’s very first show in March 1987 in Raymond, Washington — and were never seen by the public before. But folks on Twitter pointed it out, her tweet was reposted the world over and soon news outlets were contacting her.

“I didn’t realize it was such a historical thing,” Maggie told Rolling Stone. “I thought they were just cool pictures of my dad and Kurt jamming together.”

Tony Poukkula was a guitarist in a local band and was asked by Nirvana’s manager if the fledgling outfit could play in his basement.

“He said, ‘Do you mind if they come down to one of your parties just to get their feet wet?’” Tony recalled to KING-TV. “I said, ‘Sure, anytime.’ He said, ‘What about Friday?’ I said, ‘Bring them on down, we’re always there.’”
And then their parents came down and told them to stop making all that racket...

Dinner Dates

Thomas who?
Under pressure from the NAACP, the state Democratic Party will scrub the names of the two presidents from its annual fundraising dinner because of their ties to slavery.

Party leaders voted unanimously Wednesday night in Hartford to rename the Jefferson Jackson Bailey dinner in the aftermath of last month’s fatal shooting of nine worshipers at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C.

The decision is believed to be unprecedented and could prompt Democrats in other states with similarly named events to follow suit.
So does that mean they'll no longer follow the Constitution that Jefferson wrote? Oh, wait...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Meal For All Hours

At long last, the time has come:
The company in March began adding food-preparation space to restaurants in San Diego, and later in Nashville, to accommodate all-day breakfast. The tests have been encouraging, according to Tuesday’s memo, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The memo, sent from LeAnn Richards, a Tucson, Ariz., franchisee who heads a task force studying all-day breakfast, said franchisees need to be ready for the potential launch of all-day breakfast as soon as October…

McDonald’s already has been struggling with the complexity of its kitchen operations, after adding numerous menu items over the years, from fruit smoothies to oatmeal, that have resulted in slower service and customer complaints about incorrect orders. In recent months, the chain has added options for people to customize their burgers with different toppings and buns.
If there's one thing that could save McD's, this might be it...

Unicorn Speech

How to be politically correct, with unicorns:
“Sometimes people gravitate away (from inclusive language). We all live in our own lives. We all live in our own cultural experiences … and there is always going to be a large group of people who don’t want to get out of that or who want to stay in their comfort zone. So – you have to draw them out. And sometimes the best way to do that is to pose your (chastisement) as, ‘Here is how to be a better coworker, here is how to be a better professor.’ And this is just one part of that,” the College Fix reported.

The last page of the event’s handout includes a drawing of “The Gender Unicorn” — a friendly looking purple creature complete with rainbow thought bubble and a pair of hearts on its chest — courtesy of Trans Student Educational Resources. Alongside the Unicorn is a chart to educate readers on emotional and sexual attraction as well as gender identity, expression and assignment.
If you don't comply, the unicorn will impale you...

Gas Man

Don't inhale:
Right-to-die campaigner Philip Nitschke, 67, will invite people on stage to inhale gas from his updated version of the Deliverance machine that helped end the lives of four terminally people in the 1990s using intravenous drugs. Dr Nitschke said the move to gas made his new Destiny euthanasia machine much easier to use as no special skills, such as inserting an IV tube, are required.

Destiny asks three questions before delivering a lethal gas made up of nine per cent carbon monoxide and 91 per cent nitrogen through either a face mask, or nasal prongs, to the patient wanting to die. Volunteers at next month’s ‘Dicing with Dr Death’ show, the first public appearance of the new machine, will receive 100 per cent nitrogen.
Who's up for a breath test?

The Wages Of Less

More pay equals less?
Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise – in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.

Full Life Care, a home nursing nonprofit, told KIRO-TV in Seattle that several workers want to work less.

“If they cut down their hours to stay on those subsidies because the $15 per hour minimum wage didn’t actually help get them out of poverty, all you’ve done is put a burden on the business and given false hope to a lot of people,” said Jason Rantz, host of the Jason Rantz show on 97.3 KIRO-FM.

The twist is just one apparent side effect of the controversial -- yet trendsetting -- minimum wage law in Seattle, which is being copied in several other cities despite concerns over prices rising and businesses struggling to keep up.
You got your raise-but where are you going to spend it?

We Have Come For Your Crops

The revolution comes full circle:
Farmers and manufacturers who produce milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour have been told to supply between 30 per cent and 100 per cent of their products to the state stores. Shortages, rationing and queues outside supermarkets have become a way of life for Venezuelans, as their isolated country battles against rigid currency controls and a shortage of US dollars – making it difficult for Venezuelans to find imported goods.
Pablo Baraybar, president of the Venezuelan Food Industry Chamber, said that the order was illogical, and damaging to Venezuelan consumers.
"Taking products from the supermarkets and shops to hand them over to the state network doesn't help in any way," he said. "And problems like speculating will only get worse, because the foods will be concentrated precisely in the areas where the resellers go.
He pointed to statistics showing that two thirds of hoarders – or "bachaqueros", giant ants, as they are nicknamed in Venezuela – buy their goods from the three state-owned chains, to resell at a profit.
"Consumers will be forced to spend more time in queues, given that the goods will be available in fewer stores."
You wanted Cuban-style government, you got it...

Warriors Without An Audience

Mean people don't win:
The Social Justice Warriors forgot that most Americans just don’t like mean people. And in one two-week span of American life, millions of SJWs helpfully and unmistakably labeled themselves with their rainbow profile pictures, then proceeded to act like hectoring, condescending, arrogant scolds — loudly and publicly — day after day. They were mean. They mocked Christians, celebrated the plight of a Christian baker’s family as it faced financial ruin for refusing to facilitate a gay wedding, and kept pointing at the Supreme Court and White House as if they represented some sort of cosmic scoreboard — as if the only conservative response was to take their ball, slink away, and go home.
It's one thing to celebrate a win. It's another to be arrogant about it.

Last Man Running

John Kasich is in:
The 63-year-old Kasich became the 16th GOP candidate -- and perhaps not the last -- when he declared his candidacy at the Ohio State University.

“The American Dream is pivotal to the future of our country,” he said. “But I have to tell you, a lot of people are not sure that dream is still possible, not sure that dream is still alive. … I have the skills and experience” to restore that dream.

Kasich, known for his bluntness, was overwhelmingly re-elected last year to a second term as governor, winning bipartisan support for cutting taxes and improving the state economy.

Prior to becoming governor, Kasich served in the U.S. House from 1983 to 2001, where in 1995 he ascended to chairman of the chamber’s Budget committee. In 1997, he helped seal a federal balanced budget deal.

Kasich also made a White House bid in 2000, but dropped out before the Iowa Straw Poll.

"He's certainly going to be a viable candidate," Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins told on Monday. "No one's more qualified than he is. No one has more knowledge about the federal government. ... He was an extraordinary governor."

Kasich enters the race facing long odds. But he will likely use the situation to his advantage -- telling voters he understands tough challenges, considering he was the only Republican elected to Congress in 1982, and that he's eager to lead the fight for the middle class.
Last, but not least?

Top Secret Sauce

It exists:
“You can order from the 'Secret Menu'. Just like with any of our sandwiches, you can add, remove or change ingredients by special request. These are called 'grill orders' (i.e. Big Mac no pickle)."

For the uninitiated, a Land, Air and Sea Burger is pretty much the surf and turf Golden Arches style with a Big Mac, McChicken, and Filet-O-Fish all slammed together. A McGangBang is a McChicken sandwiched within a double cheeseburger—with Big Mac sauce of course.

These aren't official McDonald's creations, said orchidhibiscus. "Order one and the workers might not know it by name (i.e. Land, Air and Sea burger or the McGangBang), but if you explain what it is, and are willing to pay for all the ingredients, it's just another 'grill order' that we can make up.”
Just don't tell anyone where it came from...

No Trespassing

They mean it:
As Wackulus explains, the isolated indigenous tribe, one of the last of its kind on Earth, almost always attacks visitors. A little digging uncovered this story: After a night of drinking in 2006, two fishermen drifted too close to the island and were killed by the Sentinelese, who've lived there for 60,000 years.

A helicopter sent to recover their bodies was halted by tribesmen's arrows, the Telegraph reported at the time; the air generated by the copter's rotors revealed their bodies in shallow graves.

One of the earliest known encounters a century earlier ended when a convict who'd escaped from the neighboring Andaman Islands ended up on the island with his throat slit, the New York Times reported in 2012.
It's not Gilligan's Island...

Last Repose

Farewell to E.L. Doctorow:
The author of a dozen novels, three volumes of short fiction and a stage drama, as well as essays and commentary on literature and politics, Mr. Doctorow was widely lauded for the originality, versatility and audacity of his imagination.

Subtly subversive in his fiction — less so in his left-wing political writing — he consistently upended expectations with a cocktail of fiction and fact, remixed in book after book; with clever and substantive manipulations of popular genres like the Western and the detective story; and with his myriad storytelling strategies. Deploying, in different books, the unreliable narrator, the stream-of-consciousness narrator, the omniscient narrator and multiple narrators, Mr. Doctorow was one of contemporary fiction’s most restless experimenters.
The experiment was a success. RIP.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dogs Are People-Like, Too

Lend a helping paw:
In a new study, scientists tested 54 dogs that each watched their owners struggle to retrieve a roll of tape from a container. The dogs were divided into three groups: Helper, non-helper, and control.

In the helper group, the owner requested help from another person who held the container. In the non-helper group, the owner asked for help from a person who turned their back on them. In the control group, the additional person turned his or her back without being asked for help. In all experiments, a third “neutral” person sat in the room.

After the first round of experiments, the neutral person and the helper or non-helper both offered treats to the dog.

In the non-helper group, canines most frequently favored the neutral person’s treat, shunning the non-helper. However, in the helper group, the dogs did not favor either the neutral or helper’s treat.
They know us...

Taking The Wheel

What it's like when hackers take over your car:
The Jeep’s strange behavior wasn’t entirely unexpected. I’d come to St. Louis to be Miller and Valasek’s digital crash-test dummy, a willing subject on whom they could test the car-hacking research they’d been doing over the past year. The result of their work was a hacking technique—what the security industry calls a zero-day exploit—that can target Jeep Cherokees and give the attacker wireless control, via the Internet, to any of thousands of vehicles. Their code is an automaker’s nightmare: software that lets hackers send commands through the Jeep’s entertainment system to its dashboard functions, steering, brakes, and transmission, all from a laptop that may be across the country.

To better simulate the experience of driving a vehicle while it’s being hijacked by an invisible, virtual force, Miller and Valasek refused to tell me ahead of time what kinds of attacks they planned to launch from Miller’s laptop in his house 10 miles west. Instead, they merely assured me that they wouldn’t do anything life-threatening.
Famous last words?

Bernie Sanders' Greatest Hits

It's the Bernie Sanders album:
According to to one Vermont political blog, the album was recorded while Sanders was serving as the mayor of Burlington.

Apparently, at the time, everyone in Sander's inner circle thought the recording was a pretty good idea. That was until they realized that Sander's had no musical talent, whatsoever. So they hired a cadre of more talented musicians in order to try and make the album somewhat listenable.
Here is the singing socialist:

Rod Returns

Rod Blagojevich is sort of off the hook:
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Tuesday, throwing out five of the 18 convictions on corruption charges Blagojevich had faced. Eleven were tied to allegations he tried to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s Senate seat.
Although the ruling ordered a new trial on those five charges, it also said if prosecutors elect to drop those charges, a new trial is not needed, and the district court should proceed directly to a new sentencing. A new sentencing would not necessarily mean Blagojevich’s sentence would be reduced.
Blagojevich, 58, has been in prison in near Denver since March 2012, but the appeals court said he is not entitled to be released from custody pending further proceedings, likely because it upheld convictions on 13 other counts, and he will still likely face a long prison sentence on those charges.
He'd better relax; it still looks like he's not going anywhere soon...

Passing The Blame

hey, the IRS targeting scandal wasn't my fault:
The IRS’s internal auditor concluded that the agency did, in fact, target conservative and tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny, and Mr. Obama’s own Justice Department is still conducting a criminal investigation into the targeting.

Mr. Obama, though, disputed that version Tuesday, according to the pool reporter traveling with the president.

Mr. Obama said Congress “passed a crummy law” that provided vague guidance to the people who worked at the IRS. And he said that employees implemented the law “poorly and stupidly.”

The president went on to say that the “real scandal around the IRS is that they have been so poorly funded that they cannot go after these folks who are deliberately avoiding tax payments.”
They just went after those who weren't...

Slaying The Beast

It's Rand Paul versus the tax code:

Punking The Mayor

Bill de Blasio gets punk'd:
“He talks about discrimination in NYDailyNews OP ed but has no idea how hard it is for ethnic people to get a cab. He talks about protecting drivers but has no idea about the people who drive for Uber to subsidize their income,” Kutcher continued. “He talks about congestion but doesn’t even recognize that Uber is a fraction of a fraction of the traffic in the city. He talks about data but fails to recognize that he has none. He’s trying to regulate a problem with out providing a single solution other than putting a target on a companies back so he can keep getting political funding from another. This is the kind of corrupt shortsighted politics that is destroying innovation.”
Unfortunately for Big Bill it's anti-business as usual...

The First Review

A Democratic senator tries to remind Obama about Congress:
“Now there was a new wrinkle in this on Friday, which concerned me, which was the administration was talking about going to the U.N. to get approval,” Wyden told a town hall audience this weekend. “I think the U.N. does some very good things, I think they do some other things not so good. But the point is going to the U.N. before the Congress weighs in is really in my view flouting the Review Act, you know the whole point…”
“I hope I’ve told you what my concerns are a, b, how I’m going to proceed with it, and three, I didn’t much care for this notion that suddenly this is going to go to the U.N. and somehow there would be a U.N. stamp of approval before the Congress has a chance to review it.”
Because to a World Citizen president, they matter more than you do...

Children Of The Revolution

Meet the heirs to Obama's legacy:
The 2015 "KIDS COUNT" report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation said that the percentage of children living in poverty jumped from 18 percent in 2008, the year Obama was elected, to 22 percent in 2013. It added that the rate dropped from 2012 to 2013, in line with the improving economy.

Among minority children and in some states, especially the South, however, the situation is dire. The report said, for example:

• The rate of child poverty for 2013 ranged from a low of 10 percent in New Hampshire, to a high of 34 percent in Mississippi.

• The child poverty rate among African Americans (39 percent) was more than double the rate for non-Hispanic whites (14 percent) in 2013.
Government-induced poverty-it's for the children!