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Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Harrowing Firsthand Account Of The Attack In Libya


The U.S. Department of State released this transcript of a senior State Department Official's background briefing on the attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

Bumble Bee tuna plant employee dies after accidentally being cooked in oven

SANTA FE SPRINGS - A seafood plant employee died Thursday after he was cooked in an oven in an industrial accident, authorities said Friday.

Bumble Bee Foods officials identified the man as Jose Melena, a 6-year employee of the business.

He was 62 years old, according to Whittier police.

The incident took place shortly before 7 a.m. at Bumble Bee Foods, 13100 Arctic Circle, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.

The initial investigation indicated that, "he was fatally injured when he was cooked in an oven," California Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokeswoman Erika Monterroza said. Cal-OSHA has launched an investigation into the the circumstances of what officials are calling an accident.

The cooking device that injured the man was described in coroner's documents as a "steamer machine," Dietz said.

It was unclear how the man ended up inside the industrial cooker.

"This is a horrendous tragedy," Monterroza said.

Rescuers who responded to a 9-1-1 call pronounced the man dead at the scene, police said.

In a written statement, Bumble Bee Foods vice president of human resources Pat Menke expressed condolences to Melena's family.

"Operations at Bumble Bee Foods' Santa Fe Springs processing plant have been suspended since yesterday morning to allow for a thorough investigation," Menke said. "We expect to be able to resume operations on Monday."

By OSHA policy, an investigation is to be completed within six months, Monterroza said. It will include visits to the tuna-canning plant, extensive interviews and a review of company safety documentation.

"Once all of the facts are gathered, at that point, a determination will be made if California health and safety regulations were violated," she said.

A finding of violations would result in civil penalties assessed against the employer, Monterroza said. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office will determine whether criminal charges are warranted.

Forward or Upward?


Turkey's Erdogan made a rookie mistake - trusting Obama

Wretchard has links and comments. 
The issue here is not simply that White House has failed to pursue American interests and assist U.S. allies in letting the Syrian conflict run now for more than a year and a half with a death toll closing in on 30,000. Rather it is a picture of a foreign policy without principle or prudence. The White House sided with Turkey against Israel, but for what purpose—in order to side with Assad against Erdogan? In failing to manage a useful, if difficult ally, the White House has helped make it vulnerable to its adversaries and ours.
“The White House sided with Turkey against Israel, but for what purpose—in order to side with Assad against Erdogan?”
That sentence captures the entire problem with the administration’s foreign policy. Their offense wasn’t simply the betrayal of Libyans, Iraqis, Afghans, Turks and sundry other nationalities who risked their lives by throwing in with America, though that would be bad enough. It was their betrayal for nothing; for selling them out with a purpose; for committing treachery without hope of gain.

The Obama-Clinton “Prisoner’s Dilemma”

Stacy McCain has comments and a nice graphic here.

The bad news about this ‘game’ is that the price of admission is four human sacrifices. Those deaths were tragic for the four, and their families. The shame for the United States, and the increased boldness of our enemies, is far worse. Then there is the damage done to the validity, the basic confidence the people have in our government, brought on by the shameless deceits of the Obama Administration.

More on the feud at Breitbart.

Mark Steyn: Hillary used ambassador’s dead body ‘as prop to peddle a false narrative’


“Hillary Clinton stood next to her friend Chris’ coffin and went on about this video, even though she knew it was nothing to do with that,” Steyn continued. “Aside from anything else, it’s a wonderful example of how shriveling and corrupting politics is — that in the end, her great friend Chris, his coffin, his body, assuming they’re not lying to us about the body being in there. They lost that, along with all the names of those in Benghazi who are assisting the United States consulate there. Assuming she’s not lying to us about the body being in there, she used his body as prop to peddle a false narrative.”

Taiwanese animated version of the VP debate

From 1891: French Stilt Walkers

From a region of France called Landes, which was described as an extremely poor region inhabited mostly by shepherds. The roads were non-existent and the ground was marshy and uneven, so the people of Landes developed a unique mode of transportation to allow them to get over the rough ground: they walked on stilts everywhere! Apparently this system of locomotion was so effective that men on stilts could keep up with horses at full trot.




The death of Osama bin Laden: how the US finally got its man

The Guardian has a book excerpt based on Obama's self-aggrandizing version, in which he personally made all of the decisions.

Many reports at the time had Obama not only uninvolved but overruled:

Obama Hesitated – Panetta Issued Order to Kill Osama Bin Laden.

Report: "Oblivious" Obama was on golf course when Osama kill plan was launched, after opposing operation repeatedly.

Obama did not know of the raid in Abbottabad to kill Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011, until after the helicopters with SEAL Team Six had crossed into Pakistani airspace.

Mark Steyn: Obama Hits Romney For 'Politicizing' White House Failure

'The entire reason that this has become the political topic it is is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan."

So said Stephanie Cutter, President Obama's deputy campaign manager, speaking on CNN about an armed attack on the 9/11 anniversary that left a U.S. Consulate a smoking ruin and killed four diplomatic staff, including the first American ambassador to be murdered in a third of a century.

To discuss this event is apparently to "politicize" it and to distract from the real issues the American people are concerned about. For example, Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki, speaking on board Air Force One on Thursday:

"There's only one candidate in this race who is going to continue to fight for Big Bird and Elmo, and he is riding on this plane."

She's right! The U.S. is the first nation in history whose democracy has evolved to the point where its leader is provided with a wide-body, trans-Atlantic jet in order to campaign on the vital issue of public funding for sock puppets. Sure, Caligula put his horse in the Senate, but it was a real horse.

And this:

That's the funny thing about Big Government: The bigger it gets, the more of life it swallows up, the worse it gets at those very few things it's supposed to be doing. So on the first anniversary of 9/11 in a post-revolutionary city in which Western diplomats had been steadily targeted over the previous six months, the government of the supposedly most powerful nation on earth entrusted its security to Abdulaziz Majbari, 29, and his pal, who report to some bloke back in Carmarthen, Wales.

In the days before the attack, Joe Biden had been peddling his Obama campaign slogan that: "Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive." The first successful terrorist attack on U.S. sovereign territory since 9/11, and on the very anniversary and by al-Qaida-linked killers, was not helpful to the Obama team.

And so the nature of the event had to be "politicized": Look, over there — an Islamophobic movie! "Greater love hath no man than this," quoth the president at Chris Stevens' coffin, "that a man lay down his life for his friends." Smaller love hath no man than Obama's, than to lay down his "friend" for a couple of points in Ohio.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Not so fast — what’s so “premature” about premature ejaculation?

The function of ejaculation isn't really a mysterious biological occurrence…it's an evolved mechanism designed by nature to launch semen, and therefore sperm cells, as far into the dark, labyrinthine abyss of the female reproductive tract as possible. And once one of these skyrocketed male gametes, in a vigorous race against millions of other single-tasked cells, finds and penetrates a fertile ovum, and—miracle of miracles—successful conception occurs, well then natural selection can congratulate itself on a job well done.

So given these basic biological facts, and assuming that ejaculation is not so premature that it occurs prior to intromission and sperm cells find themselves awkwardly outside of a woman's reproductive tract flopping about like fish out of water, what, exactly, is so "premature" about premature ejaculation? In fact, all else being equal, in the ancestral past, wouldn't there likely have been some reproductive advantages to ejaculating as quickly as possible during intravaginal intercourse—such as, oh, I don't know, inseminating as many females as possible in as short a time frame as possible? or allowing our ancestors to focus on other adaptive behaviors aside from sex? or perhaps, under surreptitious mating conditions, doing the deed quickly and expeditiously without causing a big scene?

Twelve Years Ago Today: The Bombing of the USS Cole

More at Ace.

Debate cartoon of the day

via Legal Insurrection.

Friday links

What phrases commonly used today are derived from obsolete technologies?

Testosterone Increases Honesty, Study Suggests.

Dogs Playing in Slow Motion. Also, animal Halloween costumes.

Man returns home from prison to find the mummified body of his wife.

Lego Batcave.

Natural Law party: Fighting gravity will prevent crime.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lots of squirrel news

Riverside County squirrel tests positive for exposure to Bubonic plague

Related Extremely Urgent Update: 1D star Niall Horan on crutches after SQUIRREL attack

Fortunately, Somebody Is Doing Something: "You actually have to chop and prepare all of your food right here on site so when squirrels come in they're whole squirrels."

A fire that heavily damaged an apartment complex was started by a resident using a propane torch to remove a squirrel's fur.

The First-Ever World Champion Squirrel Cook Off.


British guns that were being stored in the ransacked US consulate in Benghazi are unaccounted for

(UK) Foreign Office diplomats withdrew from the Libyan city in June following an assassination attempt on the British ambassador but reached an agreement with the US to leave weapons and vehicles at the American compound.

The lightly-guarded US site was overrun by Islamist militants in an attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans last month.

The Foreign Office has confirmed to the Daily Telegraph that the equipment is still unaccounted for a month after the Benghazi assault.

Unions Fine Members Who Don't Show Support for Elizabeth Warren

A GOP source sends along this video, shot by a Republican tracker, of a union member supporting Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren outside of a debate Wednesday night in Springfield, Massachusetts. The cameraman asks the union member if he was at an earlier debate between Warren and her Republican opponent, Senator Scott Brown.

"Uh-huh," the union member says, nodding.

"Did you guys get fined if you weren't there?" the cameraman asks.

"Yeah," the union member replies.

"How much did you get fined?" the cameraman asks.

"A hundred and fifty," the man says, although he later adds, "It's two-fifty if you don't go." Watch the video below:

Obama Campaign Calls Liberal Bloggers the ‘Tinfoil Hat Crowd’


The campaign was responding to the cable channel’s request for a  comment on an Internet conspiracy theory many of them had promoted.
Shortly after the presidential debate last week, a number of liberal bloggers including ones at Daily Kos, FireDogLake, Democratic Underground, and the Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan, among others, began posting items suggesting that Mitt Romney had cheated during the debate.
The theory was that, as some video of the event appeared to suggest, Romney slipped a folded piece of paper out of his pocket and onto his podium just before the debate started. The bloggers suggested this was a “cheat sheet.” The theory was pretty clearly debunked. The paper was in fact a handkerchief … that Romney was shown later in the debate mopping his brow with.
ox’s Special Report with Bret Baier somewhat belatedly weighed in on the issue during its Wednesday broadcast. Baier noted a Washington Times story that suggested the Obama campaign planted the “cheat sheet” story in the blogs. Fox asked the Obama campaign for its reaction. Spokesman Ben LaBolt provided them with the following statement:

There is an old saying among economists that the best way to assess the state of the economy is to look at people's underwear.

Underwear Sales Increase, Suggesting A Rebounding Economy.

OK, there's no such saying. But when he served as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan did use the sales of male underpants as a way to take the temperature of the country's economic well being. And if the Maestro were to take a peek right now, he'd find evidence that things are gradually improving.

Frenchwoman receives phone bill for 11,721,000,000,000,000 euros

Ms San Jose's alarm mounted when operators at Bouygues Telecom told her they could not amend the computer-generated statement or stop the balance from being debited from her bank account.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Companies cut hours and jobs to dodge Obamacare

At The Examiner:

If you want to know how Obamacare will affect future U.S. employment, look no further than this week's Orlando Sentinel report on Darden Restaurants -- the company that owns popular chains like the Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Currently, all 185,000 Darden employees are offered health insurance, but that's about to change, thanks to Obamacare.

Obamacare fines large companies that fail to offer health insurance to their full-time employees. This would not be a problem for Darden, except that many of its employees have affordable health plans whose coverage is not robust enough to fulfill the requirements of Obamacare's individual mandate. Such plans are popular with restaurants, whose profit margins tend to be small, because they let employers offer benefits at a very reasonable cost. But such plans have coverage limits and other features that Obamacare bans, so they will likely be discontinued beginning in 2014, if not sooner.

And so in order to avoid paying fines or buying massively more expensive health plans that are Obamacare-compliant, Darden is now experimenting with limiting its employees' hours instead. By keeping workers to fewer than 30 hours per week, Darden can categorize them as "part-time." Thus, the company avoids the Obamacare fines and leaves employees to the new government health insurance exchanges, where they may receive subsidies to purchase insurance. At least two other restaurant chains -- White Castle and McDonald's -- are considering similar plans.

Obamacare is leading to fewer hours worked, less tax revenue for the government and bigger government subsidies for health insurance for people who were already insured in the first place. If enough companies do this, Obamacare will become a massive dead weight on the federal budget, even as it does little more than shuffle people from one insurance plan to another, whether they like it or not. The Congressional Budget Office estimates, at the high end, that 20 million workers could see their health plans dropped thanks to Obamacare.

That's how Obamacare will affect the restaurant industry, beginning in 2014. The medical device industry, which is far more closely connected to health care, only has until this January before it is hit with a 2.3 percent industrywide excise tax. Medical device makers have been cutting back in anticipation of the tax. Cook Medical Inc., an Indiana-based manufacturer, announced this summer it was canceling plans to build five plants that would have employed about 1,500 people. Those would have all been manufacturing jobs -- the kind of jobs that President Obama keeps saying he wants to create, but then keeps smothering through his grand agenda.

These are just two examples of industries where there will be less work and workers will be hurt, all because of Obamacare, should its provisions go into effect. Voters should take notice - Obamacare may soon be reaching out to disrupt your job and your health care situation as well.

Wednesday links

The Surprising Science of Why It’s Dark at Night, Animated.

How to survive an atomic bomb: insurance company ad, 1951.


10 Scary Halloween Dog Costumes.


Teens Feed Laxatives to Seagulls, Which Defecate on Crowd.

Supreme Court in Connecticut lets rapist go free: severely disabled woman with limited mobility who can't talk didn't say no.


BRIDGEPORT -- The state Supreme Court Monday threw out the conviction of a city man found guilty of sexually assaulting a severely handicapped woman.

In a 4-3 decision, the high court ruled that despite evidence the 26-year-old woman cannot speak and has little body movement, there was no evidence she could not communicate her refusal to have sex with the defendant.

Italian opera buffs: Giuseppe Verdi was born 199 years ago today

I would be willing to set even a newspaper or a letter, etc. to music, but in the theater, the public will stand for anything except boredom.
- Giuseppe Verdi (letter to Antonio Somma, 1854)

If others say, "He should have done thus and thus," I answer, "That may well be so, but what I have done is the best I can do."
- Verdi (quoted in Bonavia, Verdi, (1930))

It is quite enough for the musical world to have put up with my music for such a long time! I will never condemn it to read my prose.
- Verdi (on refusing to write his memoirs, letter 1895)

Verdi... has wonderful bursts of passion. His passion is brutal, it is true, but that is better than having no passion at all. His music exasperates sometimes, but it never bores.
- Georges Bizet (1838-1875) (letter, 1859)

These coarse and brutal Verdi commonplaces, raucous and clamorous choruses, these screaming unisons, these iron-clad, hard melodies, in which we have the most original and individual part of Verdi - how happy
one is to forget it!
- a New York newspaper, 21 February 1874

Today is the 199th anniversary of the birth of the foremost composer of Italian opera, Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), near Busseto. Verdi received his first music lessons from the town organist but was denied entrance to the Milan Conservatory for "lack of talent." Largely self-taught thereafter, he began composing operas in 1836, scoring his first big success with Nabucco at La Scala in 1841. From then on, his fame grew rapidly, propelled by such operatic favorites as Rigoletto (1851), Il Trovatore (1853), La Traviata (1853), La Forza del Destino (1862), Aida (1871), Otello (1887), and Falstaff (1893), as well as his magnificent Requiem (1874). While Verdi's technical mastery and subtlety of characterization continued to develop throughout his career, his musical style - direct, noble, and intense - remained consistent from beginning to end. He left much of his fortune to found a home for aging musicians in Milan, which still exists. Tens of thousands thronged the streets of that city for his funeral in 1901 - spontaneously singing his "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves" from Nabucco, which had become the unofficial anthem of the Italian Resorgimento years before.* Upon his death, fellow opera composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) observed,

"With him the purest and most luminous glory of Italy was extinguished."

* N.B. During Italy's struggle for independence from Austria, the Papal States, and the Bourbons, patriots would scrawl on city walls the graffito, "Viva VERDI!" - really a covert acronym for "Vittorio Emmanuele, Re d'Italia" - the ruler of Savoy who later became the first king of a unified Italy.

One of the most celebrated Verdi excerpts, the "Anvil Chorus" from Il Trovatore:



A photo of Verdi, ca. 1890:

Taken from Ed's Quotation of the Day, only available via email.  If you'd like to be added to his list, leave your email address in the comments.

Obama attended the wedding of VP debate moderator


Daily Caller: President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, The Daily Caller has learned. Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review.

After TheDC made preliminary inquiries Monday to confirm Obama’s attendance at the wedding, ABC leaked a pre-emptive statement to liberal-leaning news outlets including Politico and The Daily Beast Tuesday, revealing what may have been internal network pressure felt just days before Raddatz was scheduled to moderate the one and only vice-presidential debate Thursday night.

Both Politico and The Daily Beast jumped to ABC and Raddatz’s defense. The Huffington Post, another liberal news outlet, joined them shortly thereafter, while calling “unusual” ABC’s attempt to kill the story before it gained wide circulation.

Genachowski — called “Jay” at the time of his wedding, sources told TheDC — and Raddatz would go on to have a son together before their divorce in 1997. They have both since remarried to other people.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Why Women Don't Fall for Hairy Guys Remains a Scientific Mystery


Live Science: One common theory for our relative hairlessness suggests that women long ago adopted a preference for less hairy guys as a way to avoid lice and other nasty bloodsuckers that might call a pelt home.

But new research suggests that this so-called "ectoparasite avoidance hypothesis" may not explain the evolution of human hairlessness. In fact, women prefer relatively hair-free guys across the board, according to new research published online Sept. 13 in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. This preference for smooth skin holds whether or not parasite risk is high.

Tons of old munitions explode in Russia


Four thousand tons of old munitions blew up at a military site in central Russia on Tuesday, releasing a plume of white smoke into the sky and sending panicked locals fleeing for their lives.
The Donguz military range 30km south of the city of Orenburg in the Ural mountains region caught fire after the old munitions unexpectedly exploded, the emergency and defence ministries said.

EPA encourages youth ‘energy patrols’ to enforce their efficiency standards

Comments and links at HotAir:
On the website page is a link to a 26-page EPA report entitled, “Sensible Steps to Healthier School Environment.” In the report’s chapter on Energy Efficiency, the EPA presents a box with items to help establish “Energy Efficiency Opportunities for Schools.”
One of the items in the box reads, “Educate students and staff about how their behaviors affect energy use. Some schools have created student energy patrols to monitor and inform others when energy is wasted.”
For example, the Arizona Public School’s website provides information for setting up energy patrols. The website states “emphasize social action through environmental education gives students a chance to do something about environmental problems instead of just hearing about them.”

How to energize the base: Brazilian politician handing out cocaine with election leaflets

Officers searched her car and allegedly found hundreds of packets of cocaine attached to the candidate's leaflets with instructions on how to vote for her.

Iowahawk: White House Scientists Struggle to Contain Outbreak of Scrutonium


WASHINGTON DC - Engaged a relentless battle against time and fatigue, a select group of message scientists assembled by the White House's Center for Narrative Control say they will take "all steps necessary" to contain a recent outbreak of scrutonium, a deadly poll-eating supervirus that attacks the immuno-hope system, leaving victims vulnerable to material facts.  
"Failure is simply not an option," said an exhausted Mission Chief David Axelrod. "If left unchecked, this virus may actually force us to move back to Chicago."

Sesame Street Received $1 Million From Stimulus, Created 1.47 Jobs

This grant was brought to you by the letters “A” and “R” — as in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aka the “stimulus bill.”

Sesame Workshop, the independent nonprofit corporation that produces the popular childrens’ program Sesame Street, received a $1,067,532 stimulus bill grant in August 2010, via the Department of Health and Human Services.

The projected created “ 1.47″ new jobs, the website reported. How they could calculate this to a hundredth of a percent is anybody’s guess. In any event, that comes out to about $726,000 per job created. Actually, the job numbers vary by quarter - starting in 2010 Q3 and running through 2012 Q2, the jobs created are listed as:

0.82
0.79
1.81
2.20
0.93
1.34
1.48
1.47


Curious.

In the blinding obvious department: Yes, size matters

Penis Size Matters in Bed, Study Finds.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Creditor lawsuit could undo auto bailout, force GM into bankruptcy, analysts say


A backroom deal hatched by General Motors during the auto bailout to fulfill the Obama administration’s demand for a quick bankruptcy could be reversed, draining the automaker of nearly all of its cash on hand and leaving it in worse shape than it was when it collapsed in 2009.
As GM teetered on the edge of bankruptcy in June 2009, it cut a $367 million “lock-up agreement” with several major creditors in order to prevent its Canadian subsidiary from going under. The move spared the subsidiary from fulfilling the $1 billion debt it owed the creditors—major hedge funds—ensuring that GM would not have to face bankruptcy courts in two nations, which could have delayed the company’s recovery.

Monday links

Most Insane Martial Arts Battles Ever Filmedand this is THE greatest kung fu battle of all time.

The Top 10 Most Dangerous Ads.

Happy pigs make better bacon.


10 Most Lovable Movie Monsters of All Time

'Cocaine For Snowblindness': What Polar Explorers Packed For First Aid

More: Corruption: Exposing Barack Obama’s Illegal Foreign Campaign Money Loophole

Katie Pavlich has lots more at Townhall.

Obama campaign illegally solicited foreign donors via social media website

Read the whole thing at The Daily Caller:

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has been soliciting foreigners for donations, an explosive report from the conservative Government Accountability Institute (GAI) shows. Those foreign donors are allegedly visiting the Obama campaign’s donation solicitation Web pages through a social media website the campaign controls, and through an outside website that serves mostly Internet users from outside the United States.

About 20 percent of visitors to the “my.barackobama.com” social media website “originated from foreign locations,” the report found. That Web address is owned and controlled by the Obama re-election campaign.

“At no point during the [website's] subscription process is a visitor asked whether he or she can legally donate to a U.S. election,” GAI notes.

And this: 


In addition to soliciting foreigners for donations, the Obama campaign has chosen not to employ industry-standard safeguards against collecting unlawful foreign donations via its social media and online process, the GAI report says.

Obama for America does not require online credit card donors to input Card Verification Value data to confirm that a political donor is legally authorized to charge contributions to a given credit card. GAI said CVV data consists of “a three or four digit number generally imprinted on the back of the card” in order “to verify that the person executing the purchase physically possesses the card.”

GAI notes that the Obama campaign’s failure to use such security measures in its online donation system likely costs it “millions of dollars in additional fees” because “card processors charge higher transaction fees for campaigns that fail to use the CVV.”

The group estimates that Obama’s 2008 campaign, which raised over $500 million, likely “paid at least an additional $7.25 million in fees to the banks that it could have avoided if it were to have used the CVV,” assuming the campaign paid typical rates for processing credit card transactions.

The Obama campaign claims it has its own methods of confirming the legitimacy of credit card transactions. But it does require CVV data from credit card purchasers of hats, t-shirts and other campaign merchandise.

More:


In addition to fundraising practices employed at “my.barackobama.com,” another website — “Obama.com” — directs Web traffic to pages where the president’s campaign fills its coffers, GAI concluded.

Neither President Obama nor his campaign owns Obama.com. Sukhia said data show that 68 percent of traffic to that website comes from foreign users, all of whom are redirected to Obama fundraising Web pages.

Obama.com was registered in September 2008 to Robert Roche, an Obama campaign bundler living in Shanghai, China, according to GAI.

“Roche is an American citizen (originally from Chicago) who has spent the bulk of his time since the late 1990s developing business interests in Shanghai,” the group wrote. Roche “has considerable business interests in Chinese state-run television and ties to several state-owned Chinese companies.”

“By October 2, 2008, Obama.com began redirecting all visitors to specific content on my.barackobama.com,” GAI wrote. “Upon arrival to my.barackobama.com, visitors were asked for their name, email, and zip code and presumably were sent solicitation letters, like every other visitor who provides that information to the campaign.”

“Following President Obama’s campaign victory in November 2008, Obama.com redirected visitors to a page selling inauguration merchandise and taking donations for the inauguration celebration,” GAI added. “Throughout 2009, the website redirected to pages on the campaign website advocating various presidential initiatives.”

“Starting in late January 2010, Obama.com redirected to a page gathering email addresses and continued to do so through 2011. Sometime during 2012, the webpage began sending visitors to a donation page on the Obama campaign’s website. The campaign’s donation page loads an affiliate number to track the traffic and donations coming via the website. It continues to do so today.”

According to GAI’s report, Roche’s name was removed from the domain registration of Obama.com on Oct. 4, 2010, and replaced with “an anonymous registration” provided by an affiliate of GoDaddy.com. Obama.com was subsequently moved to a server company based in Utah and its administration was transferred to Wicked Global, “a small company with only four employees listed on its website,” and led by a 25-year-old Harvard dropout.


Update: Katie Pavlich has lots more at Townhall.

Princeton Economist: Obama Campaign Is Misrepresenting My Study on Romney's Tax Plan

Weekly Standard:

Last night, the Obama campaign blasted out another email claiming that Mitt Romney's tax plan would either require raising taxes on the middle class or blowing a hole in the deficit. "Even the studies that Romney has cited to claim his plan adds up still show he would need to raise middle-class taxes," said the Obama campaign press release. "In fact, Harvard economist Martin Feldstein and Princeton economist Harvey Rosen both concede that paying for Romney’s tax cuts would require large tax increases on families making between $100,000 and $200,000."

But that's not true. Princeton professor Harvey Rosen tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD in an email that the Obama campaign is misrepresenting his paper on Romney's tax plan:

I can’t tell exactly how the Obama campaign reached that characterization of my work. It might be that they assume that Governor Romney wants to keep the taxes from the Affordable Care Act in place, despite the fact that the Governor has called for its complete repeal. The main conclusion of my study is that under plausible assumptions, a proposal along the lines suggested by Governor Romney can both be revenue neutral and keep the net tax burden on taxpayers with incomes above $200,000 about the same. That is, an increase in the tax burden on lower and middle income individuals is not required in order to make the overall plan revenue neutral.

You can check the math that shows Romney's plan is mathematically possible here.

Chavez Wins (Surprise!) but Venezuela loses

Powerline: The results are in. Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s president-dictator (and would be president-for-life) has scored another knockout victory at the ballot box. While there may have been a slight fudging with the numbers, and the government was able to monopolize media time and draw on huge resources to get supporters to the ballot box, the outcome cannot be much of a surprise. Any government that spends over a decade doling out goodies to the needy, in a country where most people are poor or near-poor, cannot lose an election.

$1.4 trillion in state pension fights foreshadowed in Rhode Island

"These problems won't go away," she said. "The longer you wait, the bigger the problems get. People looking for easy, short-term solutions. ... Well, there are none."

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Real Debate: The Good Father vs. The Abandoned Son

The face-to-face clash of these two men is almost out of Greek drama. Obama must rage against or embrace the man who represents what he most dearly needed and never had. If this really were Aeschylus or Sophocles, Obama would be caught between those conflicting goals and end up plucking his own eyes out.

Jonah Goldberg: The Undoing of Storybook Man

In 2007, Joe Biden said of his then-opponent, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” He added: “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Storybook Man, indeed.

The problem for Obama was that he always believed the most ludicrous version of Storybook Man. He once told a reporter, “You know, I actually believe my own [bovine excrement].”

For a guy who supposedly gives wonderful speeches, he rarely persuades the unpersuaded or inspires those he didn’t already have at “hello.” That’s partly the fault of his speechwriters, who always did him the disservice of producing the kind of pedantic and clich├ęd boilerplate that Obama mistook for soaring oratory. He thought he smashed through the Democratic primaries like a battering ram through concrete when he mostly pushed on open doors.

As president, he’s convinced himself that he is a policy wonk with a deeper understanding of the machinery of government and the mysteries of the economy than even his advisers. And yet he had to learn on the job that “shovel-ready jobs” were magic beans sold to him by party hacks hungry for pork. He bought a stimulus that only stimulated political cronies. In the debate, he touted windmills and solar power as the energy sources of the future as if he still honestly believed that.

The media’s infatuation with Obama and/or their contempt for his critics only served to reinforce his delusions. When the press laughs at all of your jokes and takes your glib excuses as profound insights, the inevitable result is a kind of flabby narcissism. Kings can be forgiven for thinking they are the greatest poets when the court weeps at their clunky limericks.

Mark Steyn: Sesame Nation

Mitt’s decision to strap Big Bird to the roof of his station wagon and drive him to Canada has prompted two counterarguments from Democrats: (1) Half a billion dollars is a mere rounding error in the great sucking maw of the federal budget, so why bother? (2) Everybody loves Sesame Street, so Mitt is making a catastrophic strategic error. On the latter point, whether or not everybody loves Sesame Street, everybody has seen it, and every American under 50 has been weaned on it. So far this century it’s sold nigh on a billion bucks’ worth of merchandising sales (that’s popular toys such as the Subsidize-Me-Elmo doll). If Sesame Street is not commercially viable, then nothing is, and we should just cut to the chase and bail out everything.

Conversely, if this supposed “public” broadcasting brand is capable of standing on its own, then so should it. As for the rest of PBS’s output — the eternal replays of the Peter, Paul & Mary reunion concert, twee Brit sitcoms, Lawrence Welk reruns and therapeutic infomercials — whatever their charms, it is difficult to see why the Brokest Nation in History should be borrowing money from the Chinese Politburo to pay for it. 

Happy pigs make better bacon

Anxious pigs release more of the stress hormone cortisol, which affects muscles and so the quality of meat. Pork from stressed pigs is paler and softer.

British pig farmer Meryl Ward said: "If a pig is less stressed you get better-tasting bacon, ham and pork."

Obama Raises $181 Million, Only 2% of Donations Reportable


With an average donation of $53 from small donors, Obama has A LOT of donors who will never be disclosed and whose names aren't even known to the campaign. Tens of millions of dollars worth. 
Today's report certainly adds a great deal of interest to this news story from last week. 

Romney Rumor: GOP Wants to Ban Tampons

Satire from a few months ago, but Google a sentence from the story and see how many times it’s been referenced as true.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) recently put together an all male panel for discussion at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the contraceptive coverage rule and excluded women from the conversation. It seems that he is set to establish a similar group of men to discuss the use of tampons within a woman’s vagina.

"It is unnatural for a woman to insert a foreign object into her body for the sake of stopping the menstrual flow. I, as well as several others seek to eliminate the sales of such objects. Women should let nature take care of itself the way that our Almighty Creator intended. To try to manipulate and control such an occurrence goes against God’s plan for women."

Before SCOTUS: It could become illegal to resell your iPhone 4, car or family antiques

At issue in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons is the first-sale doctrine in copyright law, which allows you to buy and then sell things like electronics, books, artwork and furniture as well as CDs and DVDs, without getting permission from the copyright holder of those products. 

Under the doctrine, which the Supreme Court has recognized since 1908, you can resell your stuff without worry because the copyright holder only had control over the first sale. Put simply, though Apple has the copyright on the iPhone and Mark Owen does on the book “No Easy Day,” you can still sell your copies to whomever you please whenever you want without retribution. 

That’s being challenged now for products that are made abroad and if the Supreme Court upholds an appellate court ruling it would mean that the copyright holders of anything you own that has been made in China, Japan or Europe, for example, would have to give you permission to sell it.

This Land Is Mine: animated history of Israel

This Land Is Mine from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

Video: Animals Confused By Their Own Reflections