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The MSM’s Selective Barking April 29, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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Did you realize that ~25% of the total casualties from Afghanistan & Iraq have occurred during the current administration’s tenure?

Adjusting for time in office, Obama is losing US service members at 2/3 the rate of the Bush administration.

Sure seems like the media and protests were more than 50% louder during the Bush administration, though.

[H/T: Gateway Pundit]

Cooking April 28, 2012

Posted by daveintexas in Ducks, Food, Gardening, Nature Shit, Philosophy, Stupid shit, Women Ranting, WTF?.
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This is a cooking post.  I cooked with this today.



You could cook a moose in here.  Maybe two mooses.


Obamababble on Freedom April 28, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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The President attempts to interpret the GOP’s minimal government interference philosophy:

This contraception fight in particular was illuminating. It was like being in a time machine,” Obama told the crowd, many of whom had purchased tickets that cost $1,000 to attend. “Republicans in Congress were going so far as to say an employer should be able to have a say in the health care decisions of its female employees. You know, for a party that prides itself on being rabidly anti-regulations of almost any kind, for folks who claim to believe in freedom from government interference and meddling, it doesn’t seem to bother them when it comes to a woman’s health.

This was an amazing and amusing contortion of logic. Ignoring the fact that the GOP doesn’t pride itself on being “rabid” on any issue, we’re left with these corrections to his confused nonsense:

  • Employers weren’t asking for a say in health care decisions
  • Forcing employers to pay for birth control was a decrease of freedom for business
  • Forcing employers to pay for birth control had no impact on women’s freedom
  • The fact that Obama is blithering about the issue means by definition that the government is “interfering and meddling”

This guy was a law professor?

The President’s Over-Reliance on His “Gutsy Call” April 28, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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One of President Obama’s strongest arguments for reelection is his “gutsy call,” where he gave the go-ahead to send in the Seals to “get Osama.” I’m a fan of that decision – I thought it was a great message to terrorists, to Pakistan, and to the world. But I think that basing his campaign around it is a mistake, because he runs the risk of voters having thoughts he doesn’t want them to have:

  • Maybe the Decision Wasn’t All That Impressive: Ben Shapiro is trying to make the argument that Obama had as little skin in the game as was possible:

    …the memo doesn’t show a gutsy call. It doesn’t show a president willing to take the blame for a mission gone wrong. It shows a CYA maneuver by the White House.

    The memo puts all control in the hands of Admiral McRaven – the “timing, operational decision making and control” are all up to McRaven. So the notion that Obama and his team were walking through every stage of the operation is incorrect. The hero here was McRaven, not Obama. And had the mission gone wrong, McRaven surely would have been thrown under the bus.

  • Maybe the Decision Didn’t Matter: Face the Nation is about to have a special 1-year anniversary show on how terrorism has changed since the death of Osama. The answer is, I think, not much. Even David Ignatius said:

    He lived in a constricted world, in which he and his associated were hunted so relentlessly by U.S. forces that they had trouble sending the simplest communications.

    So he wasn’t much of a player in the global terrorism set. And the FBI and DHS don’t believe that the threat has diminished very much:

    “However, we assess that al-Qa’ida’s affiliates and allies remain intent on conducting attacks in the Homeland, possibly to avenge the death of bin Ladin, but not necessarily tied to next month’s anniversary,” according to the Bulletin sent to local law enforcement.

    So maybe removing OBL from the picture didn’t much matter.* Just like Romney and Bush said it didn’t.

  • Maybe He Didn’t Really Risk That Much: A key element of the “gutsy call” story is that Obama’s presidency was on the line – if the mission went south, his presidency was over. Sounds great, but his presidency was already over. Look at some of the headlines from the month before the mission (thanks to TPM):
    • Approval Of Obama’s Handling Of Economy Hits All-Time Low In Marist Poll
    • Poll: Obama Loses Ground To 2012 GOPers, Leads Romney By One Point
    • Poll: Obama’s Approval Rating Dives As Economic Pessimism Hits Two Year High

    This wasn’t a man risking his secure reeelection bid. This was a man throwing a Hail Mary pass to try to rescue his plummeting popularity.

  • Maybe Hearing More About It Is Actually a Negative: I think he’s diminishing the impact of his decision by continually trotting it out as the defining example of his Presidential timbre. Everybody knows he made that decision, and most people respect him for it. But as with everything, overexposure breeds indifference. And he runs the risk of having everybody realize that this is really the only bright spot in his foreign policy – in every other area the US is worse off than it was when he took office.

I know there’s a lot of “maybe’s” there, but I believe that like most of his other pitches, this one will blow up in the President’s face.

*On the other hand, we have this:

A year after the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida that carried out the Sept. 11 attacks is essentially gone but its affiliates remain a threat to America, U.S. counterterrorist officials say.

Tthe article goes on to say that Al Qaida’s ability to hit domestic US targets has been greatly diminished. But the death of OBL didn’t bring this about – it was true before they found him in his compound.

Reuters Takes a Shot at George Zimmerman April 27, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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This Reuters headline seemed a little nasty: Trayvon Martin’s killer raises more than $200,000 for defense.

They couldn’t have just said “George Zimmerman raises more than $200,000 for defense?”

Missed Our Invite… April 26, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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…to the World’s Largest Cowbell Ensemble, held 2 weekends ago in Vermont. Maybe next year.

Do You Live in a Mayfly County or a Methuselah County? April 26, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (Univ. Wash.) surveyed all the counties in the US to determine the change in life expectancy between 1989 and 2009. The change is impressive (the more green, the better), though the investigators who conducted the survey tended to focus on the fact that women’s life expectancies have improved more slowly than men’s (duh).

Women’s Life Expectancy (1989 on left, 2009 on right)
Men’s Life Expectancy (1989 on left, 2009 on right)

The plight of those in the Southeast, however, is very apparent from the graphs:

In Collier, Florida, women live 85.8 years on average. In McDowell, West Virginia, they live to be 74.1. That’s an 11.7-year gap. In 1989, the gap was 8.7 years. For men, the gap is larger – 15.5 years – but it has grown by less than a year since 1989. Men live the longest in Marin, California, at 81.6 years. They live the shortest lives on average in Quitman and Tunica, Mississippi, at 66.1.

So how do you get your country to catch up to the Methuselah counties? You’ve got to fix this:

IHME’s research shows that the biggest drivers of health disparities nationwide are preventable causes of death, including tobacco, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and alcohol.

But I suspect that income/wealth is an even larger driver.

An Anglican Minister Claims Jesus Was Likely Gay April 25, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of reading something this stupid in quite some time:

Was Jesus Gay? Probably

Jesus was a Hebrew rabbi. Unusually, he was unmarried. The idea that he had a romantic relationship with Mary Magdalene is the stuff of fiction, based on no biblical evidence. The evidence, on the other hand, that he may have been what we today call gay is very strong.


So what is this “very strong” evidence?

“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman behold your son!’ Then he said to the disciple. ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” That disciple was John whom Jesus, the gospels affirm, loved in a special way.

Heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual: Jesus could have been any of these. There can be no certainty which. The homosexual option simply seems the most likely. The intimate relationship with the beloved disciple points in that direction. It would be so interpreted in any person today.

Is that it? That’s the evidence that Jesus was “most likely” gay? Well, not quite – he also goes on about depictions in Last Supper paintings, which show John with his close to, or on, Jesus’ chest. Apparently it never occurred to the author that those Last Supper paintings were created more than a millennium after biblical events, and so do not have any bearing on the history of Jesus’ time.

I’ll let others more knowledgeable than I deal with that supposedly incriminating passage above.

It seems to me that part of the power of the Gospel is the universal appeal of the message: everyone can be saved because Jesus sacrificed himself for all of humanity. Trying to stake a claim for a particular segment of the population is contrary to that sentiment.

And trying to sexualize the nonsexual is tawdry and crass.

Bleg: Best American Experience for Japanese Exchange Student April 24, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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We’re hosting a Japanese exchange student for 5 days starting Friday. We’ve got some ideas on how to entertain him, but I thought I’d open it up to the blog to see if we missed anything.

So: What would you do to maximize the American experience for a 16-year old Japanese student?

Another Gewgaw for Michael’s Pool April 24, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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To heck with spitting lions, it’s time to take up a collection!! I think this would look great crouching over Michael’s pool:

You can get your own Tyrannosaurus skeleton for at least $1,000,000

…head over to New York on May 20 for Heritage Auctions’ Natural History Signature event, where the 75% complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus bataar will take center stage.

Tyrannosaurus bataar is known for being the smaller cousin of the T-rex; the specimen to be auctioned measures 24-feet long and 8-feet high. While the T-rex roamed the lands of North America, what’s now known as Central Asia served as the playground of the Tyrannosaurus bataar, 80 million years ago during the Cretacious period. Auction officials expect the skeleton to sell for more than a million, citing as an example a Sotheby’s auction in 1997 wherein a T-rex skeleton sold for $8 million.

What? Only a little T-rex?

Never mind.

MIT Green Building Hacked Again April 23, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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As the tallest building on campus, the Cecil and Ida Green Building at MIT has been the subject of numerous hacks (a “hack” is a technology-oriented prank). The latest involved turning the building, with its 9 x 18 grid of windows, into a Tetris game.

They tried this last year, but there were some glitches. This year they managed to pull it off. Here’s a video of the game in action:

Weiner Not Just a Loudmouth Sexting Slut – He’s Even Worse than That April 22, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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Anthony Weiner seals his ignominious legacy:

Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner was a monster to his staffers behind closed doors, bringing them nearly to tears until they quit, a book says.

“The only other times he showed any degree of vulnerability were the inevitable moments when staffers would come into his office and say that they had to quit because they couldn’t take the hours and his yelling anymore,” author Robert Draper reveals in “Do Not Ask What Good We Do,” a tell-all about the members of the US House of Representatives.

Does it surprise anybody that Weiner was a dick?