Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Comes to a End

As New York prepares to usher in 2012, I hope your 2011 was more interesting then your 2010, 2009 and 2008. As I have encouraged for the last few years; think about what you have done this past year and what you might have have done differently, not to live in regret but as a guide for the coming year. As the year comes to a close, so does any chance you had to live it to the fullest. If your lucky you will have the full coming year to try again. Stop putting off what you really want to do, because you never know when your luck will run out.

Friday, December 30, 2011

5% Think Congress Doing a Good Job

Its a new low, but still higher then it should be.

"The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just five percent (5%) of Likely Voters rate the job Congress is doing as good or excellent. Sixty-eight percent (68%) view Congress’ job performance as poor. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on December 27-28, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Best Local News Bloopers of 2011

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Markets Need Rules

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MSNBC's Most Embarrassing Moments of 2011

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

World Giving Index 2011 - US is #1 (Most Generous Country)

You can read the report at the sources.

"The results show that the USA is officially the most charitable nation in the world, moving from fifth place last year to first place this year. Ireland is the second most charitable country and Australia the third.

Overall the World Giving Index, demonstrates that the world has become a more charitable place over the last 12 months - with a 2% increase in the global population 'helping a stranger' and a 1% increase in people volunteering.

Kim Jong-il's Funeral Procession

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"Don’t miss the Atlantic’s photo spread of tears flowing freely for the “great man from the sky.” Number 12, especially, is heartbreaking as it shows how effective the indoctrination is even at a very tender age. One thing I wonder about Orwellian spectacles like this: Who’s the intended audience? The people crying might believe that the outside world is impressed by their tears, but does the leadership, which has a better sense of international opinion, understand how creepy and contemptible this looks to its enemies? It’s the most pitiful, cultish case of Stockholm syndrome on this scale that we’ll ever see (I hope). Or is the spectacle not aimed at foreign audiences at all but exclusively at the inmates of the North Korean gulag? These lines from Michael Totten stick with me: “Especially in full-bore Stalinist systems like North Korea’s, would-be dissidents feel like they’re completely alone, that no one else has any idea the emperor is naked. That’s why these regimes will mobilize massive state resources just to locate and punish a single graffiti artist. It’s critically important that everyone who hates the government feels like they’re the only people who do so.” If you’re a dissent-minded North Korean watching this clip, that’s precisely how you’d feel.

Exit question: Why is the UN lowering its flags to half-mast for this monster?

Cheating Spreads Like Infections in Online Mulitplayer Games

Cheating begets more cheating...

"What they find is interesting. First up, cheats stick together. The data shows that cheaters are much more likely to be friends with other cheaters.

Cheating also appears to be infectious. The likelihood of a fair player becoming labelled as a cheater in future is directly correlated with this person's number of friends who are cheaters. So if you know cheaters you are more likely to become one yourself. Cheating spreads like flu through this community.

Finally, being labelled as a cheat seems to significantly affect social standing. Once a person is labelled as a cheat, they tend to lose friends. Some even cut themselves off from friends by increasing their privacy settings

Blackburn and co say they've even seen newly labelled cheaters commit 'social suicide' by cutting themselves off from all their friends.

While this work gives a unique insight into the social behaviour of cheats, Blackburn and co say it also points to a new angle of attack for gaming communities hoping to stamp out cheating.

The Five Reasons For 1990's Job Boom, And Why Bill Clinton Wasn't One of Them

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Don't Mess With Firefly! How SciFi Fans Made a Campus Safe For Free Speech

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Nelson (D) to Retire

That Senate majority for the Republicans is looking more and more likely.

"Add another to the list of Democratic victims of ObamaCare:

Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska will announce today that he is retiring after two terms, a serious blow to Democratic efforts to hold onto their majority in the chamber next November.

Nelson is scheduled to hold a press conference back home in Nebraska as early as today to make his decision official, said several Democratic insiders close to the leadership. …

The White House and top Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), had quietly mounted a pressure campaign to keep Nelson from retiring. Nelson has more than $3 million in his campaign war chest, and his approval rating solidified after falling over the last several years.

But with Nelson stepping down, the Democrats’ hold on the Senate is in serious doubt, although Democratic leaders believe they can still do so. Republicans are expected to pick up control of the Cornhusker State seat, although popular former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) has been talking to top Democrats about possibly running again.

How big of a deal is this? On one hand, it’s easy to underestimate the power of incumbency. On the other, the man couldn’t even eat a pizza in peace after casting a decisive vote for ObamaCare and tossing his pro-life credentials into the wastebasket by doing so. Nelson wasn’t going to get re-elected, and would likely have lost by a wide margin in a very red state, especially in a presidential election cycle.

Russia Criticises US For Human Rights Abuses

We are by no means perfect, but I would put our record up against any other country in the world; especially Russia.

"Russia's Foreign Ministry has attacked America's human rights record in its first report on injustice elsewhere in the world, offering examples such as the Guantanamo Bay prison and wrongful death row convictions to paint the U.S. as hypocritical for lecturing other nations on the subject of rights.

'The situation in the United States is a far cry from the ideals that Washington proclaims,' says the newly-released report.

Moscow has previously reacted angrily to the accusations of human rights breaches that the U.S. State Department has leveled at Russia in its annual reports.

Obama Plays 90th Round of Golf

Remember when people gave Bush a tough time about playing golf...

"This would be a blasé bit of news if 90 weren’t such a nice, round number, but, as it is, this represents a record of sorts. Not only did Barack Obama golf on Christmas day, but he hit the links yesterday, too — and that round marked the 90th of his presidency. As Keith Koffler of points out, the time he’s spent on a golf course — about four to five hours a round — is the equivalent of three full months.

It’s not just that his perpetual self-indulgence signifies that “kind of laziness” the president himself admits plagues him deep down. It’s also that this particular indulgence required an exceptional sacrifice from the military men and women who had to accommodate his desire to golf at the Marine Corps base. Melissa Clouthier breaks it down, including a few particularly devastating comments from wives of Marines:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Store Clerk Knocks Out Robber, Then Makes Him Clean His Blood Off The Floor

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Obama Set to Ask For a $1.2 Trillion Increase in The Debt Ceiling


"The White House plans to ask Congress by the end of the week for an increase in the government's debt ceiling to allow the United States to pay its bills on time, according to a senior Treasury Department official on Tuesday.

The approval is expected to go through without a challenge, given that Congress is in recess until later in January and the request is in line with an agreement to keep the U.S. government funded into 2013.

The debt is projected to fall within $100 billion of the current cap by December 30, when the United States has $82 billion in interest on its debt and payments such as Social Security coming due. President Barack Obama is expected to ask for authority to increase the borrowing limit by $1.2 trillion, part of the spending authority that was negotiated between Congress and the White House this summer.

Under the agreement struck in August during the showdown over the government's debt limit, the cap is automatically raised unless Congress votes to block the debt-ceiling extension. Lawmakers have 15 days within receiving the request to vote, which is largely symbolic because the president can veto it and Congress would be unlikely to muster the two-thirds majority to override it. Moreover, the U.S. House of Representatives also is in recess until January 17.

No Troop Parade Imminent as Iraq War Ends

Is it a sort of acknowledgement that the war really is not ending, or do people really think our troops should not be honored for their sacrifice?

"Americans probably won’t be seeing a huge ticker-tape parade anytime soon for troops returning from Iraq, and it’s not clear if veterans of the nine-year campaign will ever enjoy the grand, flag-waving, red-white-and-blue homecoming that the nation’s fighting men and women received after World War II and the Gulf War.

Officials in New York and Washington say they would be happy to help stage a big celebration, but Pentagon officials say they haven’t been asked to plan one.

Most welcome-homes have been smaller-scale: hugs from families at military posts across the country, a somber commemoration by President Obama at Fort Bragg, N.C.

With tens of thousands of U.S. troops still fighting a bloody war in Afghanistan, anything that looks like a big victory celebration could be seen as unseemly and premature, some say.

“It’s going to be a bit awkward to be celebrating too much, given how much there is going on and how much there will be going on in Afghanistan,” said Don Mrozek, a military history professor at Kansas State University.

Crackdowns on Consensual Sex, Veggies, And More! Nanny of The Year (2011)

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Christmas: Christian Holiday or Secular Celebration of The Human Spirit?

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Top Five Presidential Campaign Moments from 2011

So far...

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Butt Imprint Seats

Soon your car will know how fat you are...

"Normally a fan of anything that would keep my car from getting jacked, this new technology gives me pause. Japanese engineers have designed a high-tech car seat using a series of 360 pressure sensors to make an imprint of your butt and — much like a fingerprint scanner — it uses this data to distinguish an owner from a thief.

Finding out that my butt has a unique "signature" gives me a whole new set of neuroses but I'll forge on.

Developed by the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology, the unique seat uses the sensors in the seat to collect data, and sends it to an external computer where software creates a roadmap of your butt. If a person other than the owner sits on the seat and the computer doesn't recognize their butt signature the car won't start.

There are a few situations I can imagine throwing this technology for a loop. What if the owner loses or gains weight (of particular interest to me)? What if they wear different clothes? What about valet parking???

The product testing proved promising with a 98 percent rate of success so perhaps they've built in some flexibility or adaptive recognition.

Steve Jobs Didn't Create Jobs?!? Henry Blodget's Hatchet Job on Apple's Steve Jobs

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Payroll Tax And Social Security

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Merry Secular Godless State -- Has Political Correctness Destroyed Christmas?

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Best Super Power

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The Best Super Power

It is also the only one you can work hard and acquire in real life; at least until biohacking takes off...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Protesters React to TIME’s 'Person of The Year' Designation

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DOJ Refuses to Explain Legal Basis For Assassinating Americans Not on The Battlefield

I guess they figure it should just be a surprise, or they have not come up with any good answers yet.

"The DOJ has rejected a Freedom of Information Act request from the New York Times that asked the agency to reveal the legal basis for the newly unveiled American program of strategic drone-attack assassinations of American citizens off the field of battle."

Great (Ad)

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Hubble Spots Complex Carbon Compounds on Pluto

Complex Carbon Compounds does not mean organic, but it could.

"The Hubble Space Telescope has sniffed out evidence of complex carbon molecules, the building blocks of life in this corner of the cosmos, lying on the frozen surface of Pluto. The distant dwarf world is known to harbor methane ice and other frigid compounds, but this is the first time scientists have suggested there could be other complex carbon chemicals, too.

Something is absorbing ultraviolet light on Pluto’s surface, and it may be organic compounds or some nitrogen-containing material, according to scientists at the Southwest Research Institute. That’s organic not as in life, but as in carbon-based compounds that make up the building blocks of life as we know it right now.

Merry Chris Christie! Plus, Are Obama Supporters Like Kim Jong-Il Mourners?

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Friday, December 23, 2011

TSA Confiscates Cupcake After Deeming it a 'Security Threat'

Apparently two cup cakes are ok, but one is a danger to the airplane.

"A Peabody woman says a cupcake she tried to take on a flight with her sparked a potential security threat this week.

Rebecca Hains says she was going through security at the airport in Las Vegas when a TSA agent pulled her aside and said the cupcake frosting was “gel-like” enough to constitute a security risk.

She said she was able to pass through Logan International Airport security with two cupcakes, but she was stopped on the way back when she tried to return with one of them.

Afterburner With Bill Whittle: Three Years Under Obama

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'If I Were a Poor Black Kid' Controversy: Why Liberals Won't Let White People Discuss Race

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Nothing Says Happy Holidays Like Beer, Bacon, Cheese, And a Tank Crash

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The Ever Inflating Higher Education Bubble

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fatter Americans Means Less Fewer Ferry Passengers at One Time

"The United States Coast Guard has scaled back the maximum number of passengers allowed on a given ferry, resulting in a lower maximum capacity rate for commercial vessels such as the Savannah Belles Ferry.

According to documents provided to CBS Atlanta by the U.S. Coast Guard, the final rule for the “Passenger Weight and Inspected Vessel Stability Requirements” amendment goes into effect in March of 2012.

All companies in ownership of such vessels must make all applicable mandatory alterations before that time.

The aforementioned documents state that the final rule was passed to avoid any potential safety issues caused by the excessive strain of larger human cargo.

“The Coast Guard amends its regulations governing the maximum weight and number of passengers that may safely be permitted on board a vessel and other stability regulations, including increasing the Assumed Average Weight per Person … to 185 lb.,” the document states. “Updating regulations to more accurately reflect today’s average weight per person will maintain intended safety levels by accounting for this weight increase.”

Pacman Frog Catch Some Touch Screen Bugs

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GOP Dares Obama to Kill The Keystone Pipeline, But Will This Strategy Backfire?

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2011, Buh-Bye!

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Capitalism Created The Middle Class, And Now The Public Sector is Destroying it

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Capitol Christmas Tree Pays Homage to Obama—But Not Jesus

"The 63-foot Sierra White Fir lighted at the U.S. Capitol Grounds on Dec. 6 as the official 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree includes a prominently displayed ornament paying homage to President Barack Obama, but includes no ornament readily visible to a person standing near the tree's base that uses the word “Christmas,” or includes an image of the Nativity, or bears the name or image of Jesus Christ.

On the north side of the tree--at a height of about 4 feet and easily visible to people standing near it---there is an ornament that says: “I ♥ President Obama.”

Tears For an Evil Clown? North Korea Cries Over Death of Brutal Dictator Kim Jong-Il

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Remy: Grandma Got Indefinitely Detained (A Very TSA Christmas)

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Big Labor & NLRB Twist Boeing's Arm. But What Role Did Obama Play?

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Who Are The 1%?

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gingrich (R) Suggests Subpoenaing Justices Over Unpopular Decisions

Not the appropriate way for Congress to show disapproval of a judicial ruling. This has bad idea written all over it.

"That's what he's saying, right? Gingrich hopes that by holding the threat of a trip to Congress courtesy of the U.S. Marshals Service over judges' heads, judges will be more likely to issue rulings that please congressfolk.

You read that right. Gingrich proposes to make the folks charged with reviewing acts of Congress more susceptible to congressional influence.

Gingrich says if there is broad opposition to a court decision, Congress should subpoena the ruling judge to defend his or her action in a hearing room.
When asked if Congress could enforce the subpoena by sending the Capitol Police to arrest a judge, Gingrich assented.

“If you had to,” Gingrich said. “Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send the U.S. Marshall.”

That's an interesting reversal. The U.S. Marshal Service ordinarily provides security for the federal courts and judges. Gingrich's suggestion is an extreme departure from the vision of Founders. Alexander Hamilton wrote at length about the dangers of subordinating the judiciary to the legislative and executive branches. History buffs might review Federalist #78, in particular, on this issue.

$130,000 Toilet

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How Are Food Truck Entrepreneurs Like The Buffalo Bills? They're Unrelenting Underdogs & Dreamers.

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Kim Jong Il Dies

He appeared to be teetering for a while. The big question is what effect this will have on North Korea.

"Kim Jong Il, North Korea's mercurial and enigmatic longtime leader, has died of heart failure. He was 69.

In a "special broadcast" Monday from the North Korean capital, state media said Kim died of a heart ailment on a train due to a "great mental and physical strain" on Dec. 17 during a "high intensity field inspection." It said an autopsy was done on Dec. 18 and "fully confirmed" the diagnosis.

Kim is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008, but he had appeared relatively vigorous in photos and video from recent trips to China and Russia and in numerous trips around the country carefully documented by state media. The communist country's "Dear Leader" - reputed to have had a taste for cigars, cognac and gourmet cuisine - was believed to have had diabetes and heart disease.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Some Politicians Can Call an Opponent "The Mexican" Without Serious Repercussions

Any guesses which party those politicians belong to...

"This is one that slipped through the cracks during the week, but it’s worth a second look. Out in New Mexico we find the story of yet another elected official caught up in allegations of malfeasance, and then lashing out in a rather unusual way when they’re called on it. Presented for your consideration, the heartwarming story of state representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton.

A Democratic state legislator in New Mexico lashed out at a Republican colleague, attacking her as acting as a minion of the state’s Republican governor, Susana Martinez, and referring to the governor in questionable terms.

Calling Martinez “the Mexican,” Democratic state Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton reportedly shouted at Republican state Rep. Nora Espinoza.

The source of the dispute was an investigative news report that suggested Stapleton had behaved unethically. The piece aired on KRQE-TV in October, reporting that “for years, Stapleton did not take leave from her job as an administrator at the Albuquerque Public Schools system and received pay while attending legislative sessions.” Espinoza commented in the report.

Stapleton shouted at Espinoza during a committee break, according to Capitol Report New Mexico, and accused her of “carrying the Mexican’s water.”

Stapleton told Espinoza that she had been waiting for her and said, “I’m pissed,” later adding, “You said I’m corrupt. Prove it!”

After a while, even I get tired of playing this particular card, but can you imagine if it had been a white male Republican doing this? Referring to the Governor as “the Mexican?” The media would be in full blown, pearl clutching meltdown mode by now. But apparently this remains a “move along… nothing to see here” story.

Obama's Head Grows Bigger on 60 Minutes

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Trains, Ports And Crazy People

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Debbie Wasserman-Ditz Talks Unemployment Myths. Plus, Chris Matthews Tries to Not Drool on Himself

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Obama Administration Trying to Harvest Republican Email Addresses

Seems like a good way to creep out a few people and really irritate the rest.

"We’re getting some e-mail on this tempest in an inbox, first reported by Keith Koffler at White House Dossier. A new stunt from Team Obama, which looks rather tongue-in-cheek, offers donors a chance to play tricks on their Republican friends by forwarding their e-mail addresses to the campaign:

Who inspires you to give?

This holiday season, we’re giving you a chance to have a little fun at the expense of a Republican in your life by letting them know they inspired you to make a donation to the Obama campaign.

Simply enter their name and email address below. Then, we’ll send them a message letting them know they inspired you to donate.

Thank you for supporting this campaign, and happy holidays.

Important: By making a donation today, you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to have dinner with Barack and Michelle Obama. By clicking on the “Submit” button below or otherwise participating in the promotion, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and represent that you satisfy all of the eligibility requirements.

Basically, this says We’re jerks who want to spam unwilling recipients, so why don’t you betray your friends and help us out? Hey, if that’s what Hopeandchange looks like in 2012, well, bring it on. As campaign strategies go, it’s on par with New Coke and those Miller Lite ads that imply that men who choose other brands might be a little light in the loafers.

If Tea Party Can Balance Budget in Four Years, Why Can't Obama?

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Assassinations, Spying And The Constitution: ACLU President Susan Herman Talks Big Government Taking Liberties

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2012 Democratic Convention: Will Occupy Wall Street Riot Like It's 1968?

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

GOP Questions 'Two-Month Gap’ in Kagan’s Health Care Involvement

They are still trying to get her to recuse herself, which almost certainly is not going to happen.

"The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee said Thursday the Obama administration is fueling speculation about Justice Elena Kagan’s impartiality because it won’t turn over documents detailing her role in crafting the legal strategy to defend the health care law.

Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee chairman, told Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. that emails show Justice Kagan took an interest in the case in January 2010, when she was solicitor general, and he demanded to know what role she played between then and March 2010, when President Obama tapped her to sit on the high court.

“The issue is how involved was she in health care discussions between Jan. 8 and March 5. Just as President Nixon had an 18½-minute gap, does Ms. Kagan have a two-month gap?” Mr. Smith said.

Conservative groups have called for Justice Kagan to recuse herself from ruling on the health care case, which the Supreme Court last month said it will consider next year.

Obama Lights the Menorah...12 Days Early. Plus, Learn Coca Cola's Secret Recipe.

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Obama is 'Happy to be Back in Tex, Oops, Kansas'

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MSM Love Triangle: CNN & MSNBC Fighting For Obama's Love

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Islamic Honor Attacks: Isolated Incidents or Despicable Cultural Trend?

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Why Obama's Stimulus Failed: A Case Study of Silver Spring, Maryland

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Holder Debunks The 'Bush Lied' Meme

Unintentionally of course...

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"Holder’s aides didn’t lie or mislead Congress when they sent over false information — including Holder himself. You see, they talked with the people who they thought knew what was going on, and simply passed along what they said.

You know — just like when George Bush listened to every Western intelligence agency when they warned that Saddam Hussein was working on weapons of mass destruction:

Now, there are a couple of key differences between the two instances. Fast & Furious didn’t take place around the world in a nearly-impenetrable Arab dictatorship — it got conducted by ATF personnel that report in the same chain of command as Holder himself. The data that Congress demanded wasn’t an assessment of intel on a program run in the Middle East, but the actual information on a program run by Holder’s team. And the inability to produce accurate data on this would indicate that either Holder and his team are a group of incompetents who don’t have any real management control over the ATF and DoJ, or that people intentionally misled Congress by feeding the House committees with false and misleading information.


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Dim Energy Future: The Coming American Darkness, Courtesy of The Liberal Left

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Voyager 1 Spacecraft Enters New Region of Our Solar System

Voyager 1 is always in uncharted territory as the farthest man made object from earth, but this kicks it up a notch.

"Voyager 1 is in uncharted territory. The long-lived spacecraft has entered a new region of space that lies between where our solar system ends and where interstellar space begins. This area is not a place of sightseeing however, as a NASA press release referred to it as a kind of “cosmic purgatory.”

Here, the solar winds ebb somewhat, the magnetic field increases and charged particles from within our solar system – is leaking out into interstellar space. This data has been compiled from information received from Voyager 1 over the course of the last year.

“Voyager tells us now that we’re in a stagnation region in the outermost layer of the bubble around our solar system,” said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “Voyager is showing that what is outside is pushing back. We shouldn’t have long to wait to find out what the space between stars is really like.”

Despite the fact that Voyager 1 is approximately 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) distant from the sun – it still has not encounter interstellar space. The information that scientists have gleaned from the Voyager 1 spacecraft indicates that the spacecraft is still located within the heliosphere. The heliosphere is a “bubble” of charged particles that the sun blows around itself and its retinue of planets.

How Pearl Harbor - And December 1941 - Made America a Global Power

70 years ago today, a date which will live in infamy...

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Obama Administration Approved Large Increase of Legal Gun Sales to Mexico Knowing 25%+ Get Diverted to The Cartels

This looks so bad that they stopped releasing the numbers; which of course makes the whole thing look even worse.

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"Selling weapons to Mexico - where cartel violence is out of control - is controversial because so many guns fall into the wrong hands due to incompetence and corruption. The Mexican military recently reported nearly 9,000 police weapons "missing."

Yet the U.S. has approved the sale of more guns to Mexico in recent years than ever before through a program called "direct commercial sales." It's a program that some say is worse than the highly-criticized "Fast and Furious" gunrunning scandal, where U.S. agents allowed thousands of weapons to pass from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels.
And it did approve 2,476 guns to be sold to Mexico in 2006. In 2009, that number was up nearly 10 times, to 18,709. The State Department has since stopped disclosing numbers of guns it approves, and wouldn't give CBS News figures for 2010 or 2011.
The State Department audits only a tiny sample - less than 1 percent of sales - but the results are disturbing: In 2009, more than a quarter (26 percent) of the guns sold to the region that includes Mexico were "diverted" into the wrong hands, or had other "unfavorable" results.

Death to Pennies

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The same argument could be made about nickels, and dimes, and it does cause inflationary pressures. The cause and effect here may be reversed though...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Big Government Seizes Big Kid in Ohio. Pound for Pound, The Worst Government Decision Ever?

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Firefighters Let Home Burn to The Ground Because Owners Did Not Pay a $75 Fee ... Again

First time.

I don't understand how people in a position to help, let alone those payed to do so, can just stand by and watch.

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"The city charges a $75 fee up front for firefighter services throughout the year. Pay the fee and the F.D. will show up and douse the flames that are consuming your home. Don’t pay and the F.D. will show up and … watch it burn. I can understand a policy in which paying the fee gives you priority over a non-payer if your house and their house are on fire simultaneously and the department has to choose which to respond to. And I can understand a policy where paying a small flat fee discharges you from further responsibility for the cost of fighting the fire whereas a non-payer is forced to reimburse the department for all of their expenses afterward. In that case, the fee operates as de facto fire insurance. What I don’t understand is a policy where the F.D. will show up to a blaze but give the non-paying owner no option to get them to fight it. If the owner’s middle class, he’ll likely have some savings with which to reimburse the department for the cost; if the owner’s poor, he could agree to have his wages garnished going forward to partially reimburse them. Either way, the resulting hardship should be enough of a deterrent to encourage people to pay the fee ahead of time."

Pelosi (D) Threatens to Reveal Confidential Information on Gingrich (R) From an Ethics Probe

She is trying to walk the statement back a bit, but it was clear what she was getting at. That sounds like it could be an ethics violation in itself.

"House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is holding back some information on Republican Newt Gingrich that could detract from his presidential campaign, according to a report published Monday.

“One of these days we’ll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich,” Pelosi told Talking Points Memo. “When the time is right. … I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff.

Gingrich, who served as Speaker of the House, worked with Pelosi in Congress from 1987 to 1999. Pelosi also served on the ethics committee that investigated Gingrich for tax cheating and campaign finance violations in the late ’90s."

"Shut Up. You Don't Get a Lawyer!": The Defense Authorization Act Guts Civil Liberties

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Tim Tebow And The American War on Religion

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Monday, December 5, 2011

S&P Places 15 Euro Zone Countries on Negative Credit Watch

A continent wide downgrade. This will not be the cause of the Euro Zone collapse but it could speed it up quite a bit.

"Standard & Poor's on Monday warned it may carry out an unprecedented mass downgrade on the credit ratings of euro zone countries if EU leaders fail to reach an agreement on how to solve the region's debt crisis in a summit later this week.

S&P placed the ratings of 15 euro zone countries on credit watch negative — including those of top-rated Germany and France, the region's two biggest economies — and said "systemic stresses" are building up as credit conditions tighten in the 17-nation region.

While a credit watch negative typically signals a possible downgrade in no more than three months, S&P said it expects to conclude its review "as soon as possible" following a crucial summit of EU leaders on Friday.

World's Most Expensive Car Crash

Eight Ferraris, three Mercedes Benz, a Lamborghini Diablo, a GT-R Skyline and a Prius. None of the drivers were seriously hurt, but some of the cars are total write offs.

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"A fleet of high-performance cars, including eight Ferraris, has been involved in one of the most expensive accidents in history after an astonishing multi-car pile-up in Japan.

Police said three Mercedes Benz cars and a Lamborghini Diablo were also involved in the massive crash at the weekend on the Chugoku Expressway, in the country’s south-west.

Witnesses reported hearing a “tremendous noise” just a few moments before the accident on the Yamaguchi prefecture highway amid terrible driving conditions.

While the majority of the 14 vehicles – which also included a Japanese supercar Nissan GT-R Skyline and a Toyota Prius – were travelling along the Osaka Prefecture-bound bended lane at least one Mercedes CL600 was driving in the opposite direction.

Ben Friedman discusses Non-Interventionism in US Foreign Policy at The Common Sense Society

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Union Boss Praises Communist China. Plus, The Sad Secret Behind Latest Unmployment Numbers

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

9 Year Old Suspended For Telling a Classmate Their Teacher Was Cute

'Sexual Harassment', people have lost their minds...

"A Gastonia mother says her son was suspended for calling a teacher "cute.”

Chiquita Lockett said her 9-year-old son, Emanyea, spent the last two days at home.

Lockett said the principal of Brookside Elementary called her Wednesday to say the incident was a form of “sexual harassment.”

Emanyea told Eyewitness News a substitute teacher overheard him tell another student a teacher was cute.

Then he was suspended.

Head to the link for the news report clip.

Legless Man Denied Wheelchair Because Council Because They Were Uncertain if The Impairment Was Permanent

Is this what we have to look forward to under ObamaCare...

"The man had his legs amputated after a long struggle with diabetes, but despite being unable get about, his application for a power wheelchair has been denied.
However, the motivation for the county council’s decision was allegedly that it was “uncertain if the impairment was permanent”, reported local media.

After the couple found out that Evert’s application would be rejected, Siv decided to take the matter into her own hands.

“I got angry. It just isn’t right that he has worked all his life but now can’t do anything that he loves anymore. Not even go fishing,” she told The Local.

“I decided to contact the papers and the broadcast media. And it was definitely what was needed.”

Obama Offers Condolences Over Nato Air Strike That Killed 24 Pakistani Troops

Took quite a while to make the call...

"Barack Obama has called Pakistan's president to offer condolences over the Nato air strike that killed 24 Pakistani troops and sparked a crisis in relations between the two countries.

Obama told President Asif Ali Zardari that the soldiers' deaths were "regrettable" and accidental, according to a White House statement.

He reiterated his call for a full investigation of the 26 November incident and said the US relationship with Pakistan was critical to the security interests of both nations.

Lynn Woolsey (D) Caught on Tape Doing The Crossword in The House

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"This truly is one of those “gotcha” moments that will leave people shaking their heads in dismay, and disapproval. Democrat Lynn Woolsey, who reportedly earns $174,000 a year serving her constituents in the U.S. House of Representatives, can be seen below in the following C-SPAN clip, doing a crossword puzzle on the House floor while fellow California Democrat George Miller spoke addressed the topic of union rights on Wednesday.

Rather than pay attention to the day’s proceedings, Woolsey must have thought it more productive to test her vocabulary and spelling skills. Although she is slated to retire next year, it seems a sign of disrespect to her constituents to have spent her working hours on a frivolous game.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.6%

There is some good news here, but not nearly as much as the drop would would have you think. There is a lot of discouraged workers in the drop, but it was not all discouraged workers.

"There’s two things I can deal with right now; the U-3 unemployment rate, and the non-farm jobs added. While the official unemployment rate dropped down to 8.6%, that is much more a function of people departing the workforce than people finding a job. The Atlantic managed to screen-cap the major parts of the household data, the basis of the unemployment figures (H/T – Jason Whitman.) The civilian labor force dropped by 315,000, which caused the participation rate to drop to 64.0%, down from 64.2% in October. James Pethokoukis ran the numbers, and declared that if the participation rate were the same as last month, the unemployment rate would be 8.9%. Worse, if it were the same as when President Obama took office, it would be 11%.
The 315,000 seasonal drop in the civilian labor force is almost unprecedented for a November. Since 1982, there have been only 7 times the labor force has dropped between an October and a November, and only 3 times has the drop been even close to this steep. In 2002, 273,000 departed the labor force, in 2008, 332,000 departed the labor force, and in 2009, 227,000 departed the labor force.

Related to that, the number of people not in the labor force, but who want a job now, rose to a seasonally-adjusted 6,595,000, the highest since the first month that statistic was tracked, January 1994. As a percentage of the civilian population, the 2.74% rate is the highest since June 1996.

The final bit of bad news was dug up by Zero Hedge – the average duration of unemployment rose to a new record of 40.9 weeks from the prior 39.4 weeks.

Justice Department Reveals Origins of False Fast And Furious Letter To Grassley (R)

If they really wanted to come clean and get to the bottom of this scandal, this would not have been part of a Friday document dump.

"The Justice Department released documents today detailing how officials prepared a Feb. 4 letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that Attorney General Eric Holder has since admitted contained false information about Operation Fast and Furious, a botched gun operation under investigation by Congress.

The documents show that Dennis Burke, then a U.S. attorney who has since resigned, and William Hoover, then the deputy director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who has since been reassigned, principally provided the false information to officials who drafted the letter. But the documents do not shed light on whether either knew the information was false at the time.

In the Feb. 4 letter, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich broadly denied that ATF officials had allowed assault weapons to “walk,” which meant ending surveillance on weapons suspected to be en route to Mexican drug cartels, allowing the guns to escape into the wild. “ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico,” Weich wrote.

Grassley’s allegations about Fast and Furious, later revealed to be true, “are based on categorical falsehoods,” Burke wrote in a Jan. 31 email. Faith Burton, a Justice Department official who drafted an early version of the letter, took notes based on a phone conversation with Hoover that read, “ATF doesn’t let guns walk.”

House Panel Votes to Subpoena Corzine (D)

This could get interesting...

"A congressional panel has voted to subpoena former Sen. Jon Corzine to testify next Thursday about his role leading MF Global, a brokerage firm that collapsed this fall after a disastrous bet on European debt.

The hearing will be a rare moment in Washington. Congressional historians had to reach back to 1908, when a former senator from North Carolina was called to testify in connection with a corporate lobbying scandal, to find a similar instance of an ex-member of Congress being summoned by his former peers.

The House Agriculture Committee voted Friday to issue the subpoena after Corzine failed to reply to an informal request to appear at the hearing.

Cain (R) Suspends Presidential Campaign

Not an entirely unexpected move after another women came forward. His prospects were dimming precipitously, but his endorsement may still hold some sway.,0,889996.story

"Herman Cain, the insurgent populist whose candidacy has been ensnared by allegations of sexual impropriety, said Saturday that he is leaving the race for the Republican presidential nomination, saying that the allegations have cast a "cloud of doubt over me and this campaign."

"As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign," he said at an event in Atlanta. "I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt . . . on me, on my family, not because we are not fighters, not because I am not a fighter."

Cain's campaign had sent mixed signals as to his future since Ginger White, an Atlanta woman who claims to have had an affair with Cain for more than a decade, went public with her story earlier this week. While Cain has said he has been "reassessing" his candidacy, he also, at times, has been fiercely defiant, suggesting that unnamed enemies have been trying to do him in and vowing to press forward.

Pat Toomey (R) on Life After The Super Committee

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Friday, December 2, 2011

The Octopus And The Beer Bottle

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Afghan President Pardons Imprisoned Rape Victim Because She Agreed to Marry Attacker

Read this article and then tell me that that our culture is not superior; any takers...

"Hamid Karzai on Thursday pardoned an Afghan woman serving a 12-year prison sentence for having sex out of wedlock after she was raped by a relative.

Karzai’s office said in a statement that the woman and her attacker have agreed to marry. That would reverse an earlier decision by the 19-year-old woman, who had previously refused a judge’s offer of freedom if she agreed to marry the rapist.
A statement released by Karzai’s office says that after hearing from judicial officials, the decision was made to forgive the rest of the sentence she received for having sex out of wedlock, a crime in Afghanistan. The presidential statement did not say when the woman was to be released or how much prison time had been pardoned.

Harry Reid's Plan to Underfund Social Security And Create a GOP Senate Majority

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Remy: Missing You - The Incandescent Light Bulb Song

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Week in Blogs: Obama's Losing Steam And Occupy Lunacy

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Al Sharpton And MSNBC Lean Off The Deep End

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Obama Administration Sealed Court Records on The Murdered of The US Border Patrol Agent Killed by Fast And Furious Guns as Holder Lashes Out Over Call

Most transparent, scandal free administration ever...

Read more:

"As Holder’s aide was escorting the attorney general offstage following his remarks Tuesday afternoon at the White House, a Daily Caller reporter introduced himself and shook Holder’s hand. The reporter asked him for a response to the growing chorus of federal legislators demanding his resignation.

Holder stepped towards the exit, then turned around, stepped back toward the reporter, and sternly said, “You guys need to — you need to stop this. It’s not an organic thing that’s just happening. You guys are behind it.”

Holder then walked offstage without answering TheDC’s request

"After all, the Justice Department has nothing to hide, right?:

The Obama Administration has abruptly sealed court records containing alarming details of how Mexican drug smugglers murdered a U.S. Border patrol agent with a gun connected to a failed federal experiment that allowed firearms to be smuggled into Mexico.

This means information will now be kept from the public as well as the media. Could this be a cover-up on the part of the “most transparent” administration in history? After all, the rifle used to kill the federal agent (Brian Terry) last December in Arizona’s Peck Canyon was part of the now infamous Operation Fast and Furious. Conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the disastrous scheme allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels.

Link via Judicial Watch. The murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent is related to the Justice Department willingly turning over thousands of guns to Mexican criminal gangs, and Obama administration is hiding information about his death from the public. Amazing.

Higher Education & The Job Market: The More Things Change, The Worse Things Become?

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Adam Carolla Explains The Occupy Wall Street Generation

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Obama Abandons Middle Class And Embraces Welfare State

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