Jonathan Garthwaite, general manager and editor-in-chief of Townhall.com, confirmed the news to BuzzFeed Tuesday, saying he was “excited” to be folding Twitchy into existing Salem news properties.Michelle's baby is growing up...
“Media Matters types would like to paint conservatives as boring, old white guys,” Garthwaite said. “Twitchy adds more fun and humor to our platform, which will appeal to totally different generation and break that stereotype.”
Launched in March 2012, Twitchy was the brainchild of conservative author and pundit Michelle Malkin, who until now served as owner and chief executive officer. The site is unique in the conservative media landscape for its native social aim, acting as a “Twitter curator” and timelining social media wars between pundits, politicians and celebrities.
Malkin had formerly sold Hotair.com to Salem Communications in 2010.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Twitchy has been sold:
Who was the last smallpox patient?
Ali Maow Maalin was exposed to the disease on October 12, 1977, while guiding a vehicle with two smallpox-infected children. On the 22nd, he fell ill and developed a fever. By the 26th, the rash appeared on his skin. He was misdiagnosed with chickenpox and sent home.The eradication of wild smallpox should be remembered as one of the great triumphs of medicine, and as a lesson on how to deal with future disease outbreaks.
As his symptoms developed, it became clear he had smallpox, but Ali Maow Maalin did not want to go to an isolation camp, so he did not tell local disease surveillance officials. A friend, however, eventually reported his condition and collected a reward.
All told, he came into face-to-face contact with 91 people, which led the World Health Organization to undertake a massive intervention to prevent the re-spreading of the disease.
Ben Affleck is not a fan of the rubber chicken circuit:
“Over time I became disillusioned, mostly with the pernicious effect of money in politics. I realized it was about raising $56,000 through a couple of dinners and those bundlers who bring in $1 million or $2 million. Those people are dedicated, and they believe in what they’re doing. I believe in why many of them are doing it. What I don’t believe in is that we now have the need to do it. And for me personally, it started to feel gross.”Except when it feels too gross to raise money for them, I guess...
Affleck said he hasn’t liked “being used as a prop to schmooze people and try to milk the teat of the donor for money.”
“We’d do it sparingly. Matt and I did a thing for Elizabeth Warren, whom we like and who won. We did a fund-raiser for Cory Booker, whom we also like. People now know me as a Democrat, and that will always be the case to some extent.”
First, they came for the patients:
A local congressman wants answers on whether volunteer firefighting companies could be unintentionally swept into the national health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama.You can keep your local fire department, if you can afford one...
The International Association of Fire Chiefs has asked the Internal Revenue Service, which has partial oversight of the law, to clarify if current IRS treatment of volunteer firefighters as employees means their hose companies or towns must offer health insurance coverage or pay a penalty if they don’t.
The organization representing the fire chiefs has been working on the issue with the IRS and White House for months.
Collusion in effect:
Earlier this year, several members of Congress introduced a bill that would amend the IRS code to permit the kinds of changes enacted by San Jose and Orange County. "The federal government should not be standing in the way of states, cities and counties that are attempting to take the initiative in solving their own deficit problems," co-sponsor John Campbell, a Republican representing part of Orange County, said when the bill was introduced in January. The bill has bipartisan backing, including Democrat Loretta Sanchez, who also represents one of Orange County's congressional districts. But so far the bill has gone nowhere, in part because of union opposition. ...As they are wont to do...
The IRS has failed, for years, to resolve the pension issue. It has appeared several times on an annual list of priorities the IRS says it intends to address, but that has yet to result in any ruling. And the IRS doesn't comment on pending matters. Why are the bureaucrats sitting on their hands? Some critics believe the delay is thanks to the big government unions in Washington. The IRS is part of the U.S. Treasury, and from what he has been able to learn, Orange County Supervisor John M.W. Moorlach believes these unions "have a stranglehold on the Treasury Department."
Monday, December 09, 2013
Why President Obama's latest distraction over income inequality doesn't fly:
a. Five years into his presidency he so far hasn’t done anything to stop growing income inequality–the problem has gotten worse on his watch.He wasn't paying attention before because he was hoping that nobody would notice that the problem hadn't gone away under his watch...
b. He doesn’t have any proposals (“It’s time to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act”) that come close to solving the problem as he defines it.
c. His one big previous initiative to reduce inequality–the Affordable Care Act–may now be hopelessly screwed up due to his own inattention and non-competence.
11 press conferencesBecause nothing shows the holiday spirit more than politically correct activism.
8 noisy rallies
7 groups a-gathering
6 town halls
5 marches on public buildings
4 “come togethers”
3 movie screenings
and a “customized Christmas carol that will target the racist destabilization of schools in communities of color, and address school closures, corporate profiteers, charter expansion and other key issues in the district.”
Russia's state media gets suspended:
Mr. Putin’s presidential chief of staff, Sergei B. Ivanov, said the decision was part of an effort to reduce costs and make the country’s state media more efficient, but RIA Novosti’s report on its own demise said the changes “appear to point toward a tightening of state control in the already heavily regulated media sector.”It's always easier if they're willing to go along...
Mr. Putin’s decision appeared to catch the agencies’ employees, even their executives, by surprise. Mr. Putin made the changes by decree without prior notice or public debate, as is often the case here. The decree said that the new agency would focus on providing news about Russia to an international audience; the agency’s directors will be directly appointed by the president’s office.
The reasons behind the timing were also unclear and, to many, puzzling. RIA Novosti is one of the official sponsors of the Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi in February, and its employees have been deeply involved in organizing preparations for media coverage there. Russia’s policies, including a new law prohibiting advocacy of nontraditional sexual relationships, have prompted harsh criticism from rights organizations and even some calls for a boycott of the Olympics.
“Russia has its own independent politics and strongly defends its national interests,” Mr. Ivanov, a close ally of Mr. Putin, said in remarks to reporters, according to RIA Novosti. “It’s difficult to explain this to the world, but we can do this and we must do this.”
And here I thought it was just a huge waste of time:
Virtual universes like World of Warcraft can be massively popular, drawing in millions of players who log months' worth of real world time competing with other players for online glory, virtual treasure, and magical loot. At its height, World of Warcraft boasted some 12 million paying subscribers, more than the population of Greece. Other virtual worlds, like Linden Labs' "Second Life" or the various games hosted by Microsoft's Xbox _ home to the popular science fiction-themed shoot-em-up "Halo" _ host millions more.I blame the Lich King...
Spy agencies have long worried that such games serve as a good cover for terrorists or other evildoers who could use in-game messaging systems to swap information. In one of the documents cited Monday by media outlets, the NSA warned that the games could give intelligence targets a place to "hide in plain sight."
You stay classy, public school system:
Officials suspended James Lang without pay from his tenured job as an English teacher at Fords Middle School in Woodbridge — a short distance from Staten Island — 20 months ago.Which tells you pretty much all you need to know about his peers...
The principal testified some students were afraid to go to Lang’s class. The judge found Lang violated all standards of decency with his “grotesque and sexual” behavior.
Among the district’s allegations against Lang were incidents including calling a student a “dirty ho,” telling a student who bent over that he would “tap that” and asking students if they would be afraid if his “snake were in their bed,” according to the Home News Tribune.
Lang's performance evaluations had been consistently satisfactory.
Are we responsible for our own behavior, or not?
The notion of an outburst of temper grossly out of proportion to whatever provoked it implies moral judgment as to what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate displays of anger. Appropriateness is an irreducibly moral concept, requiring conscious judgment; no number of functional MRI scans, of the amygdala or of any other part of the brain, will assist in that judgment.Not all bad behavior is cause for medical treatment. Sometimes, all you really need is self-control. And common sense.
The nearly complete exclusion of the meaning of behavior from diagnoses turns psychiatry into a merely bureaucratic process, in that each diagnosis will have its prescribed, reimbursed—though not necessarily effective—treatment.
To hug or not to hug?
Snugglers contend touching helps relieve stress. But Madison officials suspect the business is a front for prostitution and, if it's not, fear snuggling could lead to sexual assault. Not buying the message that the business is all warm and fuzzy, police have talked openly about conducting a sting operation at the business, and city attorneys are drafting a new ordinance to regulate snuggling.Regardless of Snuggles' intentions, is Ms. Zilavy implying that men can't control themselves, that they don't need a hug every now and then? Isn't that, you know, sexist? Sometimes a hug is just a hug...
"There's no way that (sexual assault) will not happen," assistant city attorney Jennifer Zilavy said. "No offense to men, but I don't know any man who wants to just snuggle."
Snuggle House owner Matthew Hurtado hasn't responded to multiple requests for an interview. His attorney, Tim Casper, said in an interview last month the business is legitimate and Hurtado has put precautions in place to protect clients and employees from each other.
"The concept is obviously a novel one and you can see where they (the city) might be a little skeptical," he said. "Could something happen? Yeah, I suppose. But they're taking every precaution."
Now that he has an excuse:
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro pledged to deepen his “economic offensive” to force businesses to cut prices after his ruling Socialist Party won the most votes in weekend municipal elections. …I wish I could believe he was speaking metaphorically...
The president’s candidates benefited from a populist crackdown in November to force merchants to slash prices of goods such as TVs, car parts and home hardware.
“This week we are going to deepen the economic offensive to help the working class and protect the middle class,” a triumphant Maduro told supporters in a rally after the results were announced late on Sunday night.
“This week it’s going to be the housing and food sectors. We’re going in with guns blazing, keep an eye out.”
How not to do things:
Far from the world of government and politics, the botched launch of Healthcare.gov has become an instant classic. It has replaced such notorious bungles as New Coke and the BP oil spill as a real time example in the crisis management world of how not to respond when everything goes wrong. Experts are eagerly cashing in on the administration’s missteps, offering critiques in private interactions with clients, as well as publishing blog posts and op-eds on the basic rules of crisis management that were not followed.Obamacare is the New Coke of the 2010s! But at least New Coke could be swallowed...
“I have to believe there are lots of people in our business who are looking at this and saying, ‘Gee, these are the five things they did wrong. Here are the things I would’ve done differently,’ ” Marlin Collingwood, the president of CHT, told POLITICO. “This will be taught in a lot of business and marketing courses, and probably just as importantly in a lot of technology courses on how do you launch a new product. You certainly don’t do it like this.”
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Critics just don't understand:
"This piece was purchased under the market price after considerable negotiation with both the artist and the gallery. This is an important part of our diplomatic presence overseas," deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.Like buying booze?
Abstract artist Scully, who became an American citizen in 1983, lives in New York and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize.
The Art in Embassies program had "played a leading role in US public diplomacy" for the past 50 years, Harf said.
"Where we can promote cross-cultural understanding... we think that's a good use of our limited resources," Harf told journalists.
Liberals lament digital freedom:
The digital revolution has given us 3D printers--which help people make guns regardless of regulation. It has given us the means to gamble from our own homes. It has given us an experimental currency outside government control and management. It has allowed communities of affinity to discover facts and arguments they would not have the means to encounter in a more centralized world of news and communication, and propelled strange candidates like Ron Paul to prominence.I suppose that's what the physical halls of power are for...
All that has not been accident. It is inherent in a very libertarian-at-heart "digital revolution."
The Left alas, will have to invent its own institutions and methods to get what it wants--like, say, an attempt to register and restrict access to and prohibit tools of personal defense, picayune shaping of people's choices of fun, a huge central bank by which to manage the currency for its elite needs and enrich the well connected, and politicians who say only those things that near majorities want to hear. Wherever will the Left find its dream coming true?
What was that about a culture of corruption?
JPMorgan agreed to pay under the Home Affordable Modification Program and Making Home Affordable Program, two programs from the Obama administration designed to get mortgages for low-income households. The programs do so through loan modification programs, mortgage loan forgiveness and targeted programs meant to “relieve urban blight.”When President Obama talks about income inequality, does he include his friends?
If the government finds that a shortfall in obligation remains by December 31, 2017, the agreement also states that JPMorgan must make a payment in cash equal to the shortfall to NeighborWorks America for foreclosure prevention, housing counseling, and neighborhood stabilization.
This means potentially billions of dollars may be distributed to Democratic activists through the government-funded NeighborWorks, which supports a network of leftist community organizers similar to the disgraced Acorn.
You're not paranoid, they really can read your mind:
Using a novel method, the researchers collected the first solid evidence that the pattern of brain activity seen in someone performing a mathematical exercise under experimentally controlled conditions is very similar to that observed when the person engages in quantitative thought in the course of daily life.Big Brother is gambling with you?
“We’re now able to eavesdrop on the brain in real life,” said Josef Parvizi, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences and director of Stanford’s Human Intracranial Cognitive Electrophysiology Program. Parvizi is the senior author of the study, to be published in Nature Communications. The study’s lead authors are postdoctoral scholar Mohammad Dastjerdi, MD, PhD, and graduate student Muge Ozker.
The finding could lead to “mind-reading” applications that, for example, would allow a patient who is rendered mute by a stroke to communicate via passive thinking. Conceivably, it could also lead to more dystopian outcomes: chip implants that spy on or even control people’s thoughts.
“This is exciting, and a little scary,” said Henry Greely, JD, the Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and steering committee chair of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, who played no role in the study but is familiar with its contents and described himself as “very impressed” by the findings. “It demonstrates, first, that we can see when someone’s dealing with numbers and, second, that we may conceivably someday be able to manipulate the brain to affect how someone deals with numbers.”
In Kiev, it's either 2004 or 1991 all over again:
In a hugely symbolic denouement to the rally, dozens of masked protesters, some brandishing flags of ultra-nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party, tore down the 3.4 metre (11 feet) high statue of the Bolshevik leader after putting a rope noose round Lenin's neck.They say they want a revolution, but will Putin listen?
"Hang the Commie!" screamed the protesters.
They then hacked away with axes at the remnants of the monument lying flat on the ground. Parts of the statue including one of its hands were afterwards triumphantly brandished at the main demonstration on Independence Square.
"What an unpleasant suicide!" later quipped Svoboda leader Oleg Tyagnybok.
The protesters installed the Ukrainian state flag and the red and black banner of the wartime anti-Communist Ukrainian Insurgent Army on the empty plinth to the cries of "Thank God" and "Finally" from some 1,500 people at the scene.
Saturday, December 07, 2013
It's President Obama's movie, and we are just extras:
A MacGuffin only has one requirement: That it be important-sounding, so that the audience understands he hero isn't engaged in some trivial matter, but that the Stakes Are High. (Woody Allen inverted this rule in his parody espionage film What's Up Tiger Lily?, where the MacGuffin was a top-secret recipe for chicken salad.)I think I'd rather just have the MacGuffin...
But an important sounding MacGuffin is just another way to increase the audience's emotional attachment to the Hero, not to the idea of possessing the MacGuffin.
And that, of course, explains all you need to know about the abnormal political situation we find ourselves in, and the Cult of Barack Obama.
For Obama's fanbois, this is not politics. This isn't even America, not really, not anymore.
This is a movie. And Barack Obama is the Hero. And the Republicans are the Villains. And policy questions -- and Obama's myriad failures as an executive -- are simply incidental. They are MacGuffins only, of no importance whatsoever, except to the extent they provide opportunities for Drama as the Hero fights in favor of them.
Where outdated technology lives on:
Every day, The Federal Register, the daily journal of the United States government, publishes on its website and in a thick booklet around 100 executive orders, proclamations, proposed rule changes and other government notices that federal agencies are mandated to submit for public inspection.Old disks never die, they just go to work for the government...
So far, so good.
It turns out, however, that the Federal Register employees who take in the information for publication from across the government still receive some of it on the 3.5-inch plastic storage squares that have become all but obsolete in the United States.
Now government infrastructure experts are hoping that public embarrassments like the HealthCare.gov debacle will prompt a closer look at the government’s technological prowess, especially if it might mean getting rid of floppy disks.
“You’ve got this antiquated system that still works but is not nearly as efficient as it could be,” said Stan Soloway, chief executive of the Professional Services Council, which represents more than 370 government contractors. “Companies that work with the government, whether longstanding or newcomers, are all hamstrung by the same limitations.”
They had to kill the recovery in order to save it:
A new report on the government's regulatory actions was released just before Thanksgiving, and it contains more than 3,300 rules -- which the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) estimates will, together with other regulations, cost more than $1.8 trillion to implement on an annual basis.Letting the economy recover on its own would discredit big government...
At a time when the economy is still struggling to zoom out of its post-recession rut, businesses worry that the crush of regulation is another sandbag weighing down the recovery.
"Back in the '90s, the federal budget itself was not even $1.8 trillion," said Wayne Crews, vice president of policy for CEI. "Now we have this entire $1.8 trillion hidden tax, you could say, of government compliance and intervention cost imposed in the economy."
Life after work:
“Work” and “purpose” are intimately connected: Researchers at the University of Michigan, for example, found that welfare payments make one unhappier than a modest income honestly earned and used to provide for one’s family. “It drains too much of the life from life,” said Charles Murray in a speech in 2009. “And that statement applies as much to the lives of janitors — even more to the lives of janitors — as it does to the lives of CEOs.” Self-reliance — “work” — is intimately connected to human dignity — “purpose.”Be careful what you wish for, elites...
So what does every initiative of the Obama era have in common? Obamacare, Obamaphones, Social Security disability expansion, 50 million people on food stamps . . . The assumption is that mass, multi-generational dependency is now a permanent feature of life. A coastal elite will devise ever smarter and slicker trinkets, and pretty much everyone else will be a member of either the dependency class or the vast bureaucracy that ministers to them. And, if you’re wondering why every Big Government program assumes you’re a feeble child, that’s because a citizenry without “work and purpose” is ultimately incompatible with liberty. The elites think a smart society will be wealthy enough to relieve the masses from the need to work. In reality, it would be neo-feudal, but with fatter, sicker peasants. It wouldn’t just be “economic inequality,” but a far more profound kind, and seething with resentments.
Friday, December 06, 2013
I blame Jenny McCarthy:
The CDC fears that because measles is so prevalent overseas, people who travel are bringing the virus back to U.S. shores. Almost all of the 175 cases of measles reported thus far in 2013 were linked to people who had contracted the disease after traveling outside the country.We could be getting a better handle on this, if not for our anti-vaccine Luddites...
“A measles outbreak anywhere is a risk everywhere,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a press release. “The steady arrival of measles in the United States is a constant reminder that deadly diseases are testing our health security every day. Someday, it won’t be only measles at the international arrival gate; so, detecting diseases before they arrive is a wise investment in U.S. health security.”
Wear your dead?
Using “Russian technology,” Algordanza Memorial Diamonds are created in a similar fashion to the way natural diamonds are formed.One ring to bind them...
Here’s how it works: a diamond is composed of pressurized carbons. Conveniently enough, human bodies are about 18 percent carbon. Using about a pound of ashes, the firm is able to distill out the carbon and use it to form a man-made diamond in a mold under high pressure in about a week. The diamonds created this way are often blue because of certain chemicals in the human body.
Algordanza, headquartered in Switzerland, offers a variety of diamond sizes and cuts that can be placed on a ring or other jewelry pieces. Prices run higher than conventional diamonds, starting from about $3,000 depending on the size and cut.
The favored few:
Members of Congress and their staff will be allowed to keep their health insurance past the end of the year deadline because of persistent problems plaguing the DC Health Link, The Colorado Observer has learned.Obamacare rules are for little people!
A memo issued to House staffers Thursday night said that the Obama administration has been made aware of the “significant problems preventing members and staff in Washington, D.C. and in district offices from enrolling in a healthcare plan.”
The memo from Chief Administrative Officer of the House Dan Strodel said that while they are awaiting a decision to keep the enrollment time open past Dec. 9, health insurance coverage would be extended through Jan. 31.
Everybody needs a friend:
A Brooklyn city councilman running for Congress has written to a federal judge seeking leniency for a reputed Colombo mobster who will be sentenced this month for money laundering and illegal gambling.He's just a guy from the old neighborhood...
Dominic Recchia, a Democrat representing Coney Island, Gravesend and Bensonhurst, sent the letter on City Council letterhead extolling the community service performed by reputed mobster Angelo Spata after Hurricane Sandy…
Recchia’s letter, dated Aug. 23, informs Judge Kiyo Matsumoto that Spata participated in relief efforts and hosted a children’s carnival at MCU Park after the superstorm.
First, he loses the kids, and now:
40% of white women have a “very unfavorable” view of the law, which is a jump of 10 points over a month ago. We get to half when we add “somewhat unfavorable. Democrats usually do well with white women. Now the gender gap is closing.Will the last demographic group that still supports Obama please turn out the lights?
Democrats must have a large slice of the Hispanic vote if they are to remain a viable national party. They can’t compete without taking a big majority of that fast-growing group. But Gallup says that Obama is rapidly losing ground with them, too. His job approval number among Hispanics has fallen 23%, from 75% to 52%, over the last year. Granted, he’s still at a bare majority, but the trend is decidedly against him.
Teachers aren't fans of Common Core:
“The root of the problem with the Common Core initiative is that standards drive testing, which drives curriculum,” Glyn Wright, executive director of The Eagle Forum, a Washington-based watchdog group that has long campaigned against the new curriculum, told FoxNews.com. “The standards were created by private organizations in Washington, D.C., without input from teachers or parents and absent any kind of study or pilot test to prove its effectiveness.”Common Core seems to be giving many common ground in opposing it...
“In fact, the only mathematician and the only ELA expert on the validation committee refused to sign off on the standards because they are inadequate,” she added, “Yet, the standards have been copyrighted and cannot be changed, and this is resulting in a loss of local and state control.”
Parent groups have criticized Common Core, and there are efforts under way in several states to repeal participation. But the complaints from teachers are relatively new, and come as the Common Core-aligned teaching materials are being implemented for the first time in many districts.
Britain's welfare system is too generous, says...the EU:
Viviane Reding, EU justice commissioner, on Thursday dismissed Theresa May's pleas for changes to EU free movement rules, telling the Home Secretary that only Britain was to blame for any abuses of benefit system by European nationals.Only the EU can abuse the welfare state...
Using distinctly undiplomatic language, the commissioner, who has refused to contemplate any tightening of EU rules before Romania and Bulgaria have free movement rights next month, made an astonishing attack on Britain's welfare system.
"It seems that some national systems are too generous. Don't blame the commission or EU rules for national choices and national regulatory systems," she said.
"If member states want to restrict the availability of social benefits to EU citizens they can do two things: First, change their national systems to make them less generous. Second, apply the existing EU rules which provide safeguards to counter abuse, fraud and error: for example possible expulsion orders and re-entry bans in case of abuses."
The bird killings can apparently continue:
The White House finalized its review on Thursday of a rule that would give the farms a 30-year pass for the killings, known as "takings."They had to put on appearances...
The details of the Interior Department rule are not yet known and it is possible it could be tweaked, though significant changes would be unusual at this stage in the process.
Obama found himself caught between green groups and renewable energy companies over the summer due to the controversy surrounding the rule, which also applies to oil rigs and electric lines.
An Interior Department official told The Hill it has been working "for more than a year to gather public and stakeholder input on the proposal," which was sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget back in April.
Al Sharpton discovers the knockout "game":
“The knockout game is not a game,” Sharpton says in a brief video message. “It is vicious. It is ugly. It must be stopped.”At least he's calling it what it is. Others seem to have a different attitude.
In a news release, Sharpton said the attacks cannot be tolerated.
“These kids are targeting innocent people, and in many cases specifically targeting Jewish folks. We would not be silent if it were the other way around, and we will not be silent now. This behavior is racist, period. And we will not tolerate it,” he said.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Prohibition is officially dead. From President Roosevelt's official proclamation:
I ask the wholehearted cooperation of all our citizens to the end that this return of individual freedom shall not be accompanied by the repugnant conditions that obtained prior to the adoption of the 18th Amendment and those that have existed since its adoption. Failure to do this honestly and courageously will be a living reproach to us all.Or at least a greater sanity in regards to the way that the law treats now-legal behavior. Meanwhile, the nation rejoices:
I ask especially that no State shall by law or otherwise authorize the return of the saloon either in its old form or in some modern guise.
The policy of the Government will be to see to it that the Social and political evils that have existed in the pre-prohibition era shall not be revived nor permitted again to exist. We must remove forever from our midst the menace of the bootlegger and such others as would profit at the expense of good government, law and order.
I trust in the good sense of the American people that they will not bring upon themselves the curse of excessive use of intoxicating liquors, to the detriment of health, morals and social integrity.
The objective we seek through a national policy is the education of every citizen toward a greater temperance throughout the Nation.
San Francisco must be running out of things to ban:
The San Francisco Commission on the Environment, which supports a ban on the release of commercially bred butterflies, unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night that orders the Department of the Environment to work with conservationists and local lawmakers before pursing formal legislative action.Aren't most weddings like that anyway?
The resolution states the commission supports a ban because the practice of releasing the insects at weddings and other celebrations can negatively impact the indigenous population and hamper conservation efforts.
“Many San Franciscans believe that butterflies are animals to be respected and valued as part of the city’s natural heritage and should not be used as decorations or for entertainment,” the resolution states.
The president of the North American Butterfly Association, who sent a letter to the commission in support of the proposal, told FoxNews the association backs the proposal because “there is absolutely no reason” butterflies should be sold for use at events.
“(They are) taking these living organisms and treating them as nothing but party favors,” Jeffrey Glassberg said.
Nelson Mandela has died:
Warm, lanky and charismatic in his silk, earth-toned dashikis, he was quick to admit to his shortcomings, endearing him further in a culture in which leaders rarely do.He led a long fight, and won. RIP.
His steely gaze disarmed opponents. So did his flashy smile.
Former South African President F.W. de Klerk, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela in 1993 for transitioning the nation from a system of racial segregation, described their first meeting.
"I had read, of course, everything I could read about him beforehand. I was well-briefed," he said last year.
"I was impressed, however, by how tall he was. By the ramrod straightness of his stature, and realized that this is a very special man. He had an aura around him. He's truly a very dignified and a very admirable person."
Russian diplomats run a Medicaid scam:
In court papers, FBI agent Jeremy Robertson described an 18-month investigation, saying investigators had discovered a pattern of falsified applications.In other words, the system worked for them about as well as it does for many Americans...
He said 58 of the 63 births attributed to Russian diplomats and their spouses in New York City between 2004 and 2013 were funded through Medicaid benefits.
Robertson wrote that the diplomats and their spouses generally underreported household income to an amount below the applicable Medicaid eligibility level, and some of them lied about the citizenship status of their children to obtain continuing health coverage for them.
Meanwhile, the diplomats and their spouses spent tens of thousands of dollars on vacations, fancy watches, expensive jewelry and designer clothing at luxury retail stores including Bloomingdale's, Tiffany & Co., Jimmy Choo, Swarovski and others, the court papers said.
The complaint said they also spent tens of thousands of dollars on electronic merchandise at Apple Inc. stores and elsewhere. It said they also bought concert tickets and robotic cleaning devices.
President Obama is urged to raise minimum wage on his own:
The chairmen of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Reps. Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison, wrote a letter that urges the president to circumvent Congress and sign an executive order to raise the minimum wage for workers employed through federal government contracts with private companies. This letter comes months after 49 members of the CPC requested the same thing from the president, only to hear radio silence about it from the White House.That whole Constitutional thing seems to matter less and less these days...
Amsterdam comes up with an incentive for its drunks:
The program, started last year by the Rainbow Foundation, a private but mostly government-funded organization that helps the homeless, drug addicts and alcoholics get back on their feet, is so popular that there is a long waiting list of chronic alcoholics eager to join the beer-fueled cleaning teams.So if they went on strike, would they just demand more beer?
One of the project’s most enthusiastic supporters is Fatima Elatik, district mayor of eastern Amsterdam. As a practicing Muslim who wears a head scarf, Ms. Elatik personally disapproves of alcohol but says she believes that alcoholics “cannot be just ostracized” and told to shape up. It is better, she said, to give them something to do and restrict their drinking to a limited amount of beer with no hard alcohol.
Congress holds hearings on extraterrestrials:
"The chance that there's a planet like Earth out there with life on it is very high," Massachusetts Institute of Technology planetary science and physics Professor Sara Seager told the House Science Committee.There's no intelligent life in Washington, so they'd never land there...
"The question is: Is there life near here, in our neighborhood of stars? We think the chances are good," she said, answering a question from Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, who asked: "Do you think there's life out there, and are they studying us? And what do they think about New York City?"
Seager was one of three Ph.D.-credentialed witnesses prominent in a scientific field once considered speculative who testified at a hearing called "Astrobiology: The Search for Biosignatures in Our Solar System and Beyond."
A biosignature is a substance -- such as an element, molecule or even a phenomenon -- that provides scientific evidence of past or present life.
Seager studies gases on distant planets that might indicate life.
The others testifying were NASA astrobiologist Mary Voytek and science historian and astrobiologist Steven J. Dick of the Library of Congress.
Global warming is no longer cool:
The single most damning aspect of the “pause” is that, because it has occurred when “greenhouse gases” have been pouring into the atmosphere at record levels, it shows at the very least that something natural is at play here. The warmists suggest that natural factors have “suppressed” the warming temporarily, but that’s just a guess: The fact is, they have nothing like the understanding of the climate that they claimed (and their many models that all showed future warming mean nothing, since they all used essentially the same false information).this won't stop the climate change cultists, of course-just make them more desperate.
Why the minimum wage fight is a lost cause
Regardless of how much solidarity or sympathy you might feel about the people who assemble your Triple Steak Stack or your Cheesy Gordita Crunch, this sort of demand is economic fantasy at its most delusional and counterproductive. Doubling the wages of low-skilled workers during a period of prolonged joblessness is a surefire way not just to swell the ranks of the reserve army of the unemployed but to increase automation at your local Taco Bell. . . . The push to hike fast-food wages is indicative not of a brutal new economy but of a labor movement that is not only disconnected from reality but also almost completely devoid of vision.Also, the strikers can be replaced.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Those who attack others for their funding practices shouldn't throw stones:
A Watchdog.org review of financial documents reveals the Madison-based CMD, which bills itself as a journalism organization, received $520,000 in 2011 from the Schwab Charitable Fund. That’s 60 percent of the $864,740 CMD received that year.One group's corrupt bargain is another's silent partner...
CMD lists no donors on its tax returns, but its website identifies numerous financial backers without any financial data. Several are highlighted in bold and labeled “current donors.”
CMD alleged the consumer advocacy group Club for Growth “was at the center of a tangled web of undisclosed dark money in 2011, raking in millions from out-of-state secret donors and shuffling it to other nonprofits that in turn spent millions on the 2011 and 2012 elections.”
But CMD could look at its own donor list to find evidence of dark money running through a tangled web.
One of its most politically active donors is the Tides Foundation, which gave CMD $160,000 to fund research in 2011 — the same year CMD and others ramped up a recall effort against Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican. Walker outraged some liberals by championing reform of public employee unions. The reforms, known as Act 10, survived a federal legal challenge.
Earlier this year, an investigation by Watchdog revealed that top Tides officials logged 92 White House visits in 2012 and helped draft President Obama’s massive stimulus bill. Tides doled out $505,000 to the nonprofit group Catalist to create a voter database, which is sold to liberal clients engaged in partisan election campaigns.
Why internal combustion engines are actually cleaner than green cars:
Admittedly, fossil fuels also produce carbon emissions while being dug out of the ground, refined and transported to the pump. But burning hydrocarbons in internal-combustion engines is becoming cleaner all the time. When measured on a well-to-wheels basis, the steadily declining emission levels of conventional vehicles is putting the squeeze on so-called ZEVs.Better engineering breeds better results...
What do you do if your robot surgeon stalls?
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG), the maker of a $1.5 million robot surgery system, told doctors that friction in the arms of some devices may cause the units to stall, the second warning issued about the company’s products in a month.Human hands don't sound like such an outdated idea after all...
“Reports of friction within certain instrument arms can interrupt smooth instrument motion,” the FDA said on its website. “This can be felt by the surgeon as resistance in the movement of the master. In this situation, the instrument can stall momentarily and then suddenly catch-up to the master position if the surgeon pushes through the resistance.”
It's a matter of faith to apologize:
"I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God and I believe in His word," says a bespectacled Pryor, who is holding an open Bible. "The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers--only God does. And neither political party's always right."He wants your forgiveness, and your vote...
Pryor, a relatively moderate Democrat who nevertheless voted for Obamacare in 2010, has struggled to defend the law and his vote in his reelection campaign in a conservative state that has been increasingly Republican. Arkansas voted for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in the 2012 election, and has voted Republican for president every four years since 2000. In fact, Pryor is the lone Democrat in Arkansas's congressional delegation, with all four congressman and the junior senator, John Boozman, being members of the GOP.
New York City's liberals are back:
“We are in a progressive moment right now,” declared East Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, an early endorser of Mr. de Blasio and a leading candidate for council speaker. “This honoree [Mr. de Blasio] represents the culmination of Jon’s tireless, brilliant and visionary work to build our city’s progressive infrastructure and to build coalitions across groups that made our movement stronger … It was this infrastructure that was built that just about a month ago enabled our city to elect its first progressive Democratic mayor in 20 years, our Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio.”It's a new progressive era, in a city already known for its progressiveness, so what's changed, really?
There were also political subtexts: Mr. de Blasio hugged Ms. Mark-Viverito as he took to the podium in the drab, sprawling conference room. Insiders have long speculated that Ms. Mark-Viverito, a liberal firebrand, is Mr. de Blasio’s favored candidate for the city’s second most powerful post–and Mr. de Blasio added fuel to the fire in his remarks
At one point, he heralded her as a “wonderful, progressive visionary” and noted that she was the first sitting council member to endorse him “and that was in the lean times before things got quite so interesting. I am deeply appreciative of her commitment to progressive causes and all she’s done for this city.”
Martin Bashir is done:
Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the President of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments.Looks like his vacation is now permanent...
I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hard at making constructive contributions in the future and will always have a deep appreciation for our viewers – who are the smartest, most compassionate and discerning of all television audiences. I would also wish to express deepest gratitude to my immediate colleagues, and our contributors, all of whom have given so much of themselves to our broadcast.’
The British government is concerned about this social media business:
The government's chief legal adviser said on Wednesday he plans to offer guidelines to social media users to help them avoid breaking Britain's laws on contempt when posting comments about court cases.How-by holding it accountable?
The guidelines, which will be posted on a case-by-case basis, aim to avoid a repeat of several high-profile incidents this year where Tweeters have fallen foul of the law.
"Blogs and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook mean that individuals can now reach thousands of people with a single tweet or post," said Attorney General Dominic Grieve.
"This is an exciting prospect, but it can pose certain challenges to the criminal justice system," he added in a statement.
Detroit's fall moves forward:
Judge Steven Rhodes turned down objections from unions, pension funds and retirees, which all stand to lose big under any plan to address Detroit's long-term liabilities.And those Detroit residents who are still left can thank their city's own leaders for that...
The decision Tuesday was long-awaited, and clears the way for the city to proceed in the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history.
"This once proud and prosperous city can't pay its debts. It's insolvent. It's eligible for bankruptcy," Rhodes said in announcing his decision. "At the same time, it also has an opportunity for a fresh start."
You can keep your health care plan-if you work for Harry Reid:
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, one of Obamacare's architects and staunchest supporters, is also the only top congressional leader to exempt some of his staff from having to buy insurance through the law's new exchanges.
Reid is the exception among the other top congressional leaders. GOP House Speaker John Boehner, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have all directed their staffs to join the exchange, their aides said.
In September, Reid told reporters, "Let's stop these really juvenile political games -- the one dealing with health care for senators and House members and our staff. We are going to be part of exchanges, that's what the law says and we'll be part of that."
That's true. Reid and his personal staff will buy insurance through the exchange.
But it's also true that the law lets lawmakers decide if their committee and leadership staffers hold on to their federal employee insurance plans, an option Reid has exercised.
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson emphasized, "We are just following the law."Can those who have lost their health coverage "follow the law" your way, too?
The war on wealth:
From New York to London, Paris and beyond, powerful economic players are deciding that with an ever-deteriorating global fiscal outlook, conventional levels and methods of taxation will no longer suffice. That makes weapons of mass wealth destruction—such as the IMF's one-off capital levy, Cyprus's bank deposit confiscation, or outright sovereign defaults—likelier by the day."Economic justice" means that somebody else has to pay for failed welfare states...