A.M. Links: White House Not Responding to Petitions, Putin Bans Americans From Adopting Russian Kids, Stocks Sell For Fifth Year in a Row, Astronomers Release Universe Baby Picture

  • The White House has not done a good job responding to petitions that receive more than 25,000 signatures on the We the People website. Petitions calling for the nationalization of twinkies and for the Westboro Baptist Church to be labeled a hate group are among the petitions that have gone unanswered.
  • Russian orphans cannot be adopted by Americans after New Year’s Day thanks to a bill signed into law by President Putin. Russia has roughly 740,000 children in state care.
  • Chinese authorities are tightening rules on using the internet in what is being portrayed as a move to protect personal information. 
  • Americans are selling stocks for the fifth year in a row despite measures taken by the Federal Reserve that aimed to encourage stock purchases. 
  • Astronomers have released a photo of the universe when it was only 375,000 years old. 
  • California will become the first state to enact a comprehensive social media privacy law on January 1, 2013. The law will forbids universities and employers from demanding passwords to social media accounts. 

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Russian orphans cannot be adopted by Americans after New Year’s Day thanks to a bill signed into law by President Putin.

    Russian government just as full of douchebags as the States'. Good to know.

  • Bee Tagger||

    All of the talk of trade deficits on our American media scared them into doing this.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Great, so now the only way for me to get a Russian kid is to make my own. Hardly worth the effort.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Also, this is so racist.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    The making is definitely worth the effort, it is the raising that many people find not worth doing.

  • Restoras||

    I dunno. After ahwile I found 'baby sex' to be as much of a chore as taking out the trash...ok, not that bad, but definately not as fun as fucking just to get your rocks off.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    That means you're doing it wrong.

  • Corneliusm||

    Maybe it just means that Restoras doesn't have a creampie fetish.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Oh yeah, I guess that way would be OK.

    I was thinking more of, assembling one from spare parts or something.

  • ||

    OK, now which Amendments are left? I'm confused. They still can't quarter soldiers, right?

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Of course they can! Why do you hate the troops!?

  • Ted S.||

    Why do you hate the troops our wounded warriors!?

    Fixed it for you.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Wounded heroes you commie pinko.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

    Started as heroes, ended as warriors. Or some such.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I'll be over to crash on your couch, shortly.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'm going on a cruise next week. Just take my whole bedroom.

  • ||

    What ports are you visiting?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Cape Canaveral, Nassau, Freeport.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'll probably be less drunk than the one I went on last year, but I can guarantee I'll be more successful getting a girl in bed.

  • ||

    You're bringing one with you, then? And this is a sufficient excuse for not going to a playoff game btw?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I was anticipating a bye...

  • Ted S.||

    So you're going on a cruise with a prostitute?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Sounds like the perfect plan.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Enjoy, the weather is beautiful.

  • ||

    If you guys have any free time after your cruise in Orlando, shoot me an email and we can try to get a beer or something. Otherwise, enjoy the trip. And bring some gambling money; Atlantis casino has some higher bet minimums.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    The cruise actually leaves from Baltimore and just stops in Florida. We're in the Orlando area for Jan 2.

  • Ted S.||

    shoot me an email

    But, but, TEH GUNZ!!!!111!!!

  • Tonio||

    Bon Voyage, Auric.

    Enquiring minds want to know about your expected success with the ladies versus previous trips.

  • Brett L||

    He drinks less, they drink more.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Hamilton already figured it out.

  • DRM||

    Note that the 3rd's a ban on quartering soldiers in a time of peace. They can quarter soldiers during wartime.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I'm of the school that the third ammendment is properly understood as a restriction on government surveillance. The purpose of quartering troops in someone's house wasn't that they actually needed a place to stay, it's that in the age before police and telecommunications, it was how the government would keep tabs on what someone was up to. In that light, the third is one of the most violated ammendments in the Bill of Rights.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    I've heard that argument before and I think that it is valid. For one thing, it makes drug testing by the government unconstitutional.

    ... Hobbit

  • sarcasmic||

    L.A. cops buy back (back? did they sell them?) guns. I'm thinking that some personal collections just got bigger.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....oting.html
    Comments are pure derp.

  • sarcasmic||

    Pron 4 John!
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem.....-Week.html
    Spank it to the plus size ladies, John! Spank it!

  • ||

    Are all of the girls in the first picture supposed to be "plus-size"? If so, I'm doing something wrong.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Seriously, that's a whole line of 'woulds'.

    Although, the second one is either a 'no' or a post-sixer (although probably in non-retarded clothes she'd look fine).

    The third set of pics looks like a before and after shot.

  • Tonio||

    What's a post-sixer? The interwebs were of no help...

  • Randian||

    After a six-pack (of beer), Tonio.

  • Tonio||

    Thx. LOL.

  • Way Of The Crane||

    I like my women with a few more +pluses+.

  • sarcasmic||

  • ||

    The zaftig 29-year-old, who's originally from Russia, has made no secret of the fact that she is high maintenance and is looking to marry a rich physician.

    Paging Groovus Maximus...

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    So that's what Howard Finkelstein's mother looked like as a youngster!

  • ||

    The former Playboy Cyber Girl named her new fashion line after an episode of Dr. Phil she appeared on in 2010.

    They really throw the word "former" around casually, don't they. Or maybe Playboy Cyber doesn't have the same criteria as the print magazine.

  • ||

    Playboy Cyber Girls are the magazine's rejects. Thanks, Howard Stern, for teaching me about all things nudie magazine-related!

  • Way Of The Crane||

    Wow... she's so "spoiled" and "entitled" that she wears rings that say "spoiled" and "entitled" so only she can read them. Now that's selfish.

    And to answer your question: No, she's not really doing it for me? Must be the aura of whiny bitch she seems to be exuding.

  • Tonio||

    Some guys like that, Stork. I'm thinking of a Zappa song...

  • ||

    Her pics remind me more of a certain Queen song . . .

  • Gene||

    She sounds like a Jewish Princess but looks like Big Legged Emma.

  • Brett L||

    If that chick would do some squats, she'd be fantastic.

  • ||

    Qantas refuses to carry American Staffordshire bull terriers, but will carry crocodiles

    more

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I assume this is because we have a black president?

  • Rich||

    What's this "we", Whiterun?

  • Brett L||

    What's the word on dingos? Separate areas from babies?

  • ||

    yes, unless they're a celebrity, in which case they are allowed one baby per flight

  • sarcasmic||

    Gwyneth Paltrow puts out another cook book. I want to taste that dish on the cover.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem.....onths.html

  • ||

    "‘My dad loved to barbecue – he’d fire up his grill and do all kinds of ribs, hamburgers and hot dogs. It wasn’t very healthy back in the day'"

    What an idiot.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Hey, give her a break, at least she's not blessing the world with her political opinions.

  • ||

    Saying that BBQ ribs aren't healthy is the worst kind of politics!

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Her doctor prescribed an elimination diet banning coffee, alcohol, sugar, eggs, wheat, meat and processed food to clear out her system and help her body heal.

    I can't believe this doctor wasn't trolling her. She probably could have cut out the processed foods and maybe even the coffee altogether and she would have been fine, but Dr. Nick recognized he had a fashion-obsessed twit on his hands and decided to see just how much he could fuck with her diet.

  • ||

    next stop, this

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Jasmuheen claims she's lived for years without nourishment, although she admits to having mouthfuls of food for taste every once in a while.

    So she admits to eating. PT Barnum was a freaking visionary.

  • Rhywun||

    It boggles the mind how stupid some people can be. OK, no it doesn't.

  • robc||

    Her mother was hotter.

  • ||

    Ten most powerful deaths in animated film.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    They dare to put together a list like that and not include Grave of the Fireflies?!

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Been a while since I've seen it, but weren't they already dead?

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Spoiler alert:No they die in the end.

  • Restoras||

    That is a great movie.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    It probably is a great movie, but I still didn't enjoy it and never want to see it again.

  • Ted S.||

    Are all the photos on one page?

  • ||

    It's a slideshow, so no.

  • Randian||

    Then I'm out.

  • Ted S.||

    I know I've said this a bunch of times, but I hate slideshow lists as a matter of principle. I don't want to give them the extra page views for their ads; nor do I want the aggravation of all the background stuff loading multiple times.

  • ||

    What do you think? (they're not)

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Here's the list:

    1. Duke from GI JOE The Movie
    2. Bugs Bunny in the Ring of the Nibelungen
    3. Doctor Sid in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
    4. Grand Master Oogway in Kung-Fu Panda
    5. The Colonel from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
    6. René Fromage from Animalympics
    7. Tony Belinski from American Pop
    8. King Haggard from The Last Unicorn
    9. Bambi's Mom
    10. Hazel from Watership Down.

  • Randian||

    What's Opera, Doc? is one of the most fan-fucking-tastical cartoons in history.

    I still say "Kill the Wabbit" from time to time.

  • ||

    Is that what should be on the list? Because when I clicked through I didn't have 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I think it generates different content based on how awesome you are. Next gen anon-bot algorithms.

  • Brett L||

    The Giant from Iron Giant was on mine. Tony Belinski in AmPop was poignant but not particularly powerful.

  • Sevo||

    Bambi in "Bambi Meets Godzilla"

  • ||

    Yes! God I love that film

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I still say you have to throw Optimus Prime in there. I remember how stunned most of my classmates were when he died.

  • ||

    Prime's death was on my slide show. Weird.

  • MJGreen||

    Are people seriously getting different results?

    Because, by the way, Sid didn't die in The Spirits Within. Sure, he'll eventually die, but you don't see it. Maybe they mean Gray?

    That said, Setsuko in Grave of the Fireflies is pretty freaking obvious. And I don't know if the "death" of the Forest Spirit counts in Princess Mononoke, but that was a shocking moment worth mentioning.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Rene Fromage didn't die... he just ran off with a hot african babe at the end of the marathon...

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised they left out the death of Boxer from the Animal Farm cartoon.

  • sarcasmic||

    Comet is supposed to be bigger and brighter than Hale-Bopp.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sci.....tions.html
    I wonder how many people will kill themselves this time.

  • Not an Economist||

    Just remember, these are early predictions and more than likely will be wrong.

  • Ted S.||

    Hale-Bopp
    Dit dit doo wop
    Doo doo doo doo doo
    Hale-Bopp
    Dit dit doo wop
    oh ooh oh oh

  • ||

    a friend saw them a few months ago. Apparently they were freakin' amazing, even though their balls have now definitely dropped

  • Ted S.||

    a friend saw them a few months ago.

    Admit it. "A friend" is actually you.

  • sarcasmic||

    You suck.

  • ||

    A Chinese labourer has hidden a note detailing his desperate circumstances inside a 'graveyard kit' from KMart.

    more

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Yeah, I'm guessing it's some sort of "awareness hoax".

  • ||

    About 10 years ago or so, I bought a disposable film camera. When I had it developed, it turned out the camera had somehow been fired off while it was on the assembly line. The first couple shots were of all the Chinese factory workers standing around in their gowns and paper caps. I think I still have those shots lying around somewhere.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Dig them out. It could totally get you a segment on NPR.

  • ||

    Dig them out. It could totally get you a segment on NPR.

    No, they weren't children and there was no evidence that the exits had been chained shut, so I doubt NPR would care.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The law will forbids universities and employers from demanding passwords to social media accounts.

    How many have their privacy settings right anyway?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I'll go check!

    /HaXxor

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Were places actually doing that? And if so, what people were actually complying?

  • nicole||

    Yes. It's been mostly anecdotal at this point, but places were definitely doing it. Typically, in the case of employers, the stories are about people who are asked for their passwords during an interview. Note: not asked to show the interviewer their Facebook page, but specifically asked for a password so that the interviewer could bypass any privacy stuff and see everything that was on there.

    This is against Facebook's TOS, by the way, which means at least some federal prosecutors would say these people were committing federal crimes.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    And were people actually agreeing to this?

  • nicole||

    Oh yeah. I just got spammed when I tried to link to an article one it from Yahoo! Finance (WTF, Reason?), but for sure. Some do, some don't--depends how bad you want the job, right? And how principled you are.

  • nicole||

    Here's a passage:

    Back in 2010, Robert Collins was returning to his job as a security guard at the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services after taking a leave following his mother's death. During a reinstatement interview, he was asked for his login and password, purportedly so the agency could check for any gang affiliations. He was stunned by the request but complied.
    "I needed my job to feed my family. I had to," he recalled,
    ...
    Until last year, the city of Bozeman, Mont., had a long-standing policy of asking job applicants for passwords to their email addresses, social-networking websites and other online accounts.
    And since 2006, the McLean County, Ill., sheriff's office has been one of several Illinois sheriff's departments that ask applicants to sign into social media sites to be screened.
    Chief Deputy Rusty Thomas defended the practice, saying applicants have a right to refuse. But no one has ever done so. Thomas said that "speaks well of the people we have apply."
  • Whiterun Guard||

    Blizzard employees will NEVER ask you for your password via e-mail or over the phone!

  • Ted S.||

    "will forbids"?

  • R C Dean||

    Like pissing in a cup:

    Should be the employer's option. Shouldn't be the subject of a law.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Unless the cup is leaking.

  • ||

    Should be the employer's option. Shouldn't be the subject of a law.

    Exactly. As long as you still have the option of saying, "no thanks, I'll find a job elsewhere," then that should be the end of it.

  • Way Of The Crane||

    Do I also have the option of not posting stupid shit on my facebook page that makes me look like someone I wouldn't want working for me?

  • nicole||

    One thing I really don't understand is that employers shouldn't want to see a lot of the stuff on your Facebook page. I mean, based on other current laws. Aren't they opening themselves up to liability by looking at a profile that can list your age, religion, sexual orientation, etc.? I.e., a bunch of shit they aren't allowed to not hire you because of.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    bingo bango.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Can't someone just say "I don't use Facebook"?

  • nicole||

    Yes, but then they'll just think you're too weird to hire.

  • Gene||

    That's me. Never even vaguely tempted to sign up.

  • R C Dean||

    If you, in fact, do, then the employer can and will find that out (unless, of course, you don't have a Facebook account with your real name or identifying information on it).

    Lying on an application is an excellent way to not to get the job.

  • Tonio||

    So no limits whatsoever, eh, RC?

    What's to keep someone from signing a lifetime contract making them the literal equivalent of a slave in exchange for USD $1.00. You'd be fine with that, right?

  • R C Dean||

    Whatever the limits are, and I'm not saying there aren't any, pissing in a cup and opening up your social media are well within them.

  • robc||

    Contracts can be nullified. I have no problem with that contract, but you can then refuse to show up.

    They can sue for damages.

    That is why you cant actually contract yourself into slavery, because no law requires you to comply with your contract. Its no different than any other employment contract, just the amount is different.

    Look at football coaches for example. They leave before contracts are over all the time, then lawyers negotiate.

  • ||

    What's to keep someone from signing a lifetime contract making them the literal equivalent of a slave in exchange for USD $1.00. You'd be fine with that, right?

    I'd be OK with that. But I could also get behind a law mandating that any whips used would have to be OSHA-approved, with a tip made from felt rather than the same leather the rest of the whip is made from.

    Fun Fact: Did you know that the "crack" of whip is a sonic boom? The last few inches of a a cracked whip exceed the speed of sound.

  • $park¥||

    They also move fast enough to ignite if coated in a flammable liquid. I was watching some show where they had a guy soak his whip in kerosene (I believe) and the air friction was so great when he cracked it that it caught fire.

  • robc||

    Of course, but also, your contract with facebook forbids you from complying, so YOU (not the employer) are in violation of that if you comply.

  • Brett L||

    "I'm not giving you that." Should be right behind "I'm not signing that employee agreement as written." in your employment negotiation vocabulary. Either they want to rent my time or they can find someone else. No need for a law.

  • Tonio||

    Brett, you'll notice that a lot of the employers doing this were government agencies, which raises a whole bunch of other questions.

    And while I'm glad that you are (currently) marketable enough to be able to tell prospective employers to FO, not everyone is in the same level of marketability. And someday you will be old and unmarketable; check back with me then.

  • ||

    Brett's just playing the old game - reject them before they reject you. It's his stench, you see...

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Brett's SO: Hey Brett... We need to talk.. You're a great guy, but I just think we sh-

    Brett: I'm dumping you!

  • Brett L||

    Shit, if only I was that quick on the trigger. Usually they move away and change their contact info in the dead of the night. Maybe it has something to do with my serial killers shrine in my bedroom.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    This is why you should always dump a girl before going to bed.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    And while I'm glad that you are (currently) marketable enough to be able to tell prospective employers to FO, not everyone is in the same level of marketability.

    And that matters why?

  • Jordan||

    Seriously. That's straying into progressive territory.

  • Brett L||

    You'd be surprised how fast the average HR person crumbles when you just say "No". Come to find out, company policy is pretty flexible when someone wants you hired. Much like how they told me I'd have to be piss tested for 4 different contracts in 7 years but never got around to it. Occasionally, you'll get someone who's a hardass, but for the most part, once you're negotiating over employee agreements and money, they want you worse than they care about you signing their bullshit agreement that you'll never, under any circumstances put any data on your laptop ever (impossible if they want you to achieve any actual work) and that the employer will be held blameless for anything they do that puts you in the shit at a client.

  • robc||

    A few friends of mine work at a company that has a very strict policy on criminal charges. They do work for a lot of law enforcement agencies and one of them requires a clean record, so its basically company policy...any conviction gets you fired.

    Except, not really. If they really want to keep you, they either move you to a department that doesnt interact with that agency or they just ignore it.

    Trying to cover up a conviction does get you absolutely booted, however.

  • ||

    This is a bit passe anyway - the latest is for employers to check your Klout score

  • ||

    Judge agrees: student's parents are stalking her

    more

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The student is 21 and isn't getting financial support from them, so from the standpoint of the law, I don't see what's particularly shocking about this.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    I saw The Hobbit last night.

    Spoiler-free: it had some great moments and Martin Freeman is perfect as Bilbo. It also had some terrible moments, horrible pacing. While I enjoyed it well enough, I expected much better from PJ, and he's going to have to make the next two movies really great or else this is going to be his (literal) prequel trilogy.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    he's going to have to make the next two movies really great or else this is going to be his (literal) prequel trilogy.

    Oh come on, it was nowhere near that bad. It's actually probably better than Fellowship. I do find the decision to split it into a trilogy likely to downgrade the quality.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    I thought Fellowship was more focused and did a good job explaining the quest and its importance, while also moving things along.

    PJ's main change is adding in this necromancer bit, and it really was just tacked onto this film. So he's going to have to really justify that addition in the later ones.

    My main comparison to the Prequel Trilogy is that it doesn't seem like PJ had anyone telling him "No" for this, and that makes me nervous for the next two. We may end up seeing fan edits of the Hobbit that are better...

  • Translucent Chum||

    Agree. He'd have been better off leaving the whole necromancer and dialog bits out and keeping a single scene with Radagast investigating the castle.

  • John||

    The older the LOTR movies get, the more I like The Fellowship the best. It is the one movie of those three, I will watch over and over.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    I'm especially partial to it, admittedly because Boromir was always my favorite character.

  • robc||

    I thought it was the best the first time around. Im really not a fan of Two Towers at all.

  • ||

    That, and I kinda thought the action was a little dizzying for no clear puprpose. I suspect it would have been better in 2d.

  • Translucent Chum||

    Yeah. The 3d was a little strange. Some parts looked like someone was getting up from their seat to walk out of the theatre because it was flowing from the bottom corner of the screen. We wanted the 2d version, but didn't have the option at the time we went.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    The only time I enjoyed 3d more than the 2d version was Avatar. And that was because the whole point of that movie was to be distracted from the plot.

  • ||

    Prometheus worked well in 3D for the same reason

  • Rhywun||

    Just saw that the other day and I wanted to like it but I was a bit distracted by the fact that it made absolutely no sense.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    I liked the 3D well enough. It tired my eyes a bit, and was dizzying for some of the swooping shots. The 48FPS didn't bother me at all, though, and everything looked very clear. Some of the still shots were really beautiful in 3D, like the (unnecessary) council scene with the water flowing in the foreground and lamps swaying overhead.

  • Translucent Chum||

    Took the family to see it last night. Enjoyed it. Kids (8 and 9) loved it. Didn't feel like three hours. The pace was weird, and the story lines didn't feel meshed together with the five different antagonists (maybe six?). No spoilers, but the part I really liked was how they meshed with the beginning of Fellowship. And PJ does seem to get the score just right. The kids were demanding I download the Misty Mountain song before we left the theatre.

  • ||

    Did you acquiesce to their demands?

    "We do not negotiate with terrorists!"

  • Translucent Chum||

    You do not know my terrorists. Yes. I can hear them playing it from my office right now...

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    1. Teach them to sing it
    2. Tour as the Chum Family Singers
    3. Profit

  • Ska||

    Always handy in case of a Nazi takeover.

  • Restoras||

    It's a good tune. Certainly better than all the Enya crap from the LOTR.

  • SweatingGin||

    You didn't have Misty Mountain Hop (and all the rest of the zeppelin catalog) already?

  • Restoras||

    Dude, come on. Really? Hobbit as Phantome Menace? I think that's a stretch. Phantome Menace had a handful of good bits and a great big pile of rubbish. The Hobbit was exactly opposite.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    I will admit that the Hobbit had more good bits than rubbish bits, but even the good bits were assembled haphazardly in a way that didn't really provide a clear satisfying narrative. We spent the first half of the movie on character development, and the second half on an extended "RUN AWAY!" scene. And considering each half is 1:30 long... it could have been distributed better.

    The LotR trilogy had a clear sense of where people were going, why, and what they were going to do when they got there. On the way, they had interactions with each other that revealed character, punctuated with fights that were infrequent enough to be specifically memorable.
    That, IMHO, is what El Hobbito was lacking.

  • ||

    The LotR trilogy had a clear sense of where people were going, why, and what they were going to do when they got there.

    On that note, my daughter got the LOTR trilogy on Blu-ray for Christmas, the extended cuts. Opinions will differ as to whether the theatrical cuts were better, but we've watched all three discs over the last few days, and I don't feel like there was any "fluff."

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    I agree. I would opine that it's probably because PJ had to cut the fluff from LotR, and THEN had to cut some meat to get it down to what was an acceptable runtime for theaters. With the success of the Extended Editions, studios were probably more open to allowing a longer theatrical release, so he doesn't seem to have had any pressure to cut from Hobbit.

  • R C Dean||

    Being "too good/lucrative to edit" almost never improves the quality of the finished product.

    I'll be seeing the Hobbit this weekend. In 2D, if at all possible.

  • ||

    Phantom had good bits?

  • ||

    Phantom had good bits?

    I consider it a point of pride that I'ce never seen any of the prequels. And this from someone who grew up with, and loved, the original three films.

  • ||

    I saw episode 1, comprehended the magnitude of the evil, and walked away without looking back.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    The lightsaber fight and podracing scene were decent, from. a. certain. pointofview.

  • ||

    from. a. certain. pointofview.

    I don't consider it a point of pride that I get your reference ;)

  • Auric Demonocles||

    My favorite 10 minutes of Star Wars is the Obi-Ani fight in RotS.

  • Jordan||

    You monster.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    You've got to let the hate flow through you. It's the payoff of 8 hours of watching Anakin be a whiny brat who is wasting this huge gift he has.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    That fight's really the best part of any of the prequels, which I guess isn't saying much--and it has the added bonus of showing Obi-Wan being a colossal, self-righteous prick.

    Let's see, this "good" Jedi decapitates Anakin, berates him for not living up to some stupid prophecy, calls him his "brother," then has no problem watching him burn alive, and Anakin's the one who's evil?

  • Jordan||

    Let's see, this "good" Jedi decapitates Anakin

    Uh, I think I missed that part. The prequels probably would have been better if that had happened.

  • nicole||

    Yeah, it took that whiny brat way too long to not-die.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Sorry, dismembers.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    And yeah, leaving a child murderer to die is less evil than murdering children.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    While I enjoyed it well enough, I expected much better from PJ

    Clearly you haven't seen Meet the Feebles yet. ;)

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Astronomers have released a photo of the universe when it was only 375,000 years old.

    The terrible three hundred seventy-five thousands.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Man, imagine changing that diaper.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    For those too lazy to click two(!) links: the boring photo which is basically the same as the other ones I've seen. Universes really hit their growth spurt back in the 200ks.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    It's much earlier than that (assuming you accept inflation cosmology).

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I knew someone was going to get all technical, instead of just continuing the joke.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Here, I'll help you out:
    When it comes to the Universe, sarcasmic prefers the 375k photo and John prefers modern photos.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    That doesn't make sense. While it's true the universe is generating more mass as it gets older, the density was certainly higher at 375k, so my assumption is that that would be the 'fat' version, and hence John would like it.

  • R C Dean||

    Its not the density, its the volume, that John goes for. He'd prefer the modern photo.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Sarc only likes universes in in their first second.

  • AlmightyJB||

    John rolls his universes in flour and looks for the wet spots.

  • ||

    Afghan bombing victims sue German government

    more

  • ||

    Calling all retro-nerds: Nerd dreams calendar 2013

  • AlmightyJB||

    Too much clothing

  • Auric Demonocles||

    So... SFW?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Definately

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Wow, those range from the incredibly hot to the unspeakably pointless.

    I also love how the .de just gave up on captions towards the end.

  • Randian||

    What, Henning Schneider doesn't do it for you?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I said incredibly hot, didn't I?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Mmmm, nerd, DAT NECKBEARD.

  • Rich||

  • sarcasmic||

    Racist!

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    "Low-income communities of color lack access to vegetables and have an overabundance of fast food and highly processed foods that are high in calories and fats. I always know when I'm in a community of color because I see ... very, very few supermarkets and health food stores," he added.

    Food deserts. Which is really weird because I always see at least two or three wal-marts when I go visit my family. And their veggies and fruit selection is pretty damn good.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    But walmart is evil, so it uses cheap veggies that will wear out quickly.

  • sarcasmic||

    Ah yes. The bigotry of low expectations. People of color just don't know what they should be eating. They're just too ignorant. They need a helping hand. Someone from government needs to show them what they should be eating. Use force if necessary. It's for their own good.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    You can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!

  • Restoras||

    FTW!

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    You can't have any pudding fried okra if you don't eat your meat quinoa!

    Fix'd.

  • PowerBottom||

    Agreed. It's some of the most overt racism I know of that exists in the mainstream.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I LOVE fried chicken and bbq ribs. What about watermelon and collard greens? Those are good for you and delicious. Had the best collard greens ever a few weeks back at a new bbq joint in town.

  • Brett L||

    I think these people are probably not paleo-adherents, so cooking greens in bacon fat (while the only correct way to do so, unless you want to use duck fat) negates the nutritional value in their eyes.

    I'd argue that biscuits and grits and sweet tea are probably far worse at the soul food table.

  • sloopyinca||

    Don't talk shit about grits!

  • Brett L||

    They are awesome. Awesome. Especially when also prepared with bacon fat and butter. Bonus if you put shrimp (or fish) and green onions in them. Healthy? Probably not as they are a pure white carb.

  • ||

    Unlike white flour, grits haven't been bleached. The process that turns grits white - soaking corn in lye - actually makes the corn more nutritious.

  • ||

    Yeah, and I imagine the fried chicken is fried in veggie oil since it's cheaper. Last time I was in NM I couldn't find normal lard at the huge local grocery, tons of the hydrogenated stuff in the mex food section.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Did you check the meat section? That's where most places keep it. Not every grocery chain carrys it though.

  • ||

    Yeah, I checked all over. I imagine the stores down in the barrio carry real lard.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The White House has not done a good job responding to petitions that receive more than 25,000 signatures on the We the People website.

    Hardly the most significant promise they've broken.

  • Bee Tagger||

    At least they answered my petition to stop breaking promises.

  • Rich||

    Give the President a break, Fist. He has more important things to do than answer the silly concerns of the people.

  • StillASkeptic||

    Further evidence of the reality of Jodi Dean's illusion of participation. Maybe if this news catches on, we might no longer be bombarded with Facebook requests to sign petitions. Call it a silver lining.

  • Bee Tagger||

    The law will forbids universities and employers from demanding passwords to social media accounts.

    I didn't RTFA and ignoring the tricky aspect of government-run universities, but I'm going to guess that including this requirement in the voluntary contract the employer and employee signs counts as a "demand" to California lawmakers.

  • ||

    So what happened to Friday Funnies? Your hypotheses below, please

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    A very targeted Mayan Apocalypse.

  • sarcasmic||

    Someone took the week off.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Postrel left.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    First pane: A dainty Obama standing at the precipice of a cliff.

    Second pane: Boehner comes up and offers to bow in front of him.

    Third pane: Obama kicks a bent Boehner over the cliff.

    Fourth pane: Cash for Clunkers 2 happens.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'm confused what is going on. You should label things more.

  • Ted S.||

    Friday "Funnies" have multiple panes? They all seem to have just one pane, but five dozen labels.

  • Ted S.||

    I asked about it in another thread, and nobody replied to me. :-(

  • LTC(ret) John||

    You needed moar labelz in your request?

  • ||

    HampersandR: like high school, but much, much more disturbing.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Donations are down - top talent like Payne and Bok don't come cheap, dontchaknow.

  • ||

    To which BTW I feel the need to add ANOTHER complaint about the popup ads. Matt, Nick: next time tell us that this will be the consequence BEFORE the damn webathon and we'll donate more.

  • Restoras||

    THey wanted Friday to be funny again?

  • PowerBottom||

    MSNBC's Toure says he has a "right to know who has a gun and who doesn't."

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/msn.....addresses/

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I have a right to know who has an abortion and who hasn't.

  • Rich||

    Touré [said] “being Muslim does not have a negative impact on me. Owning a gun has a negative potential impact on me.”

    *** rising intonation ***

    What about the Muslim *potential* impact?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Single-named dumbfucks spewing their idiocy in a way that might cause other dumbfucks to act on it has a negative impact on me.

  • Timon 19||

    Who is this unmodified Toure? The only Toures worth a damn have given names, goddammit!

    God bless Yaya Toure and Kolo Toure!

  • Randian||

    I don't know why the world lets itself be trolled by MSNBC.

  • ||

    This^

  • ||

    Piers Morgan is a dick, but I still think his dismantling of Toure, the idiot who brought us the "What if Michael Vick were _____" meme (I like barbecue spare ribs one), is worth watching.

    Although I guess it is really just two blowhards seeing who can blow harder.

  • Restoras||

    I have a right to know where the mentally disturbed are at all times.

  • nicole||

    Meh, still not as good as the comment I found yesterday about the "right to live in a community built on equal vulnerability and weakness" or whatever the fuck it said.

  • Brett L||

    Yes, I'm sure abused women are really happy you published their address so their abuser can find them again, dickhead.

  • sarcasmic||

  • ||

    This incident marks the fourth time a passenger has assaulted a TSA agent.

    Four out of a population of 300 million, and one of them wasn't even from the US. What the hell is wrong with you people?

  • sarcasmic||

    Don't look at me. I haven't flown in a decade because I don't want to end up in prison for responding to sexual assault with violence.

  • db||

    How many sexual assaults has the TSA committed to date? Sounds like a pretty good ratio for them so far.

  • sloopyinca||

    How many sexual assaults has the TSA committed to date?

    I don't know. How many people have traveled by air since their inception?

    I know I've been sexually assaulted at least 16 times in the past two years.

  • ||

    She was booked into the Orange County Jail on two counts of battery on transit agents.

    Why is there a separate crime for battery on "transit agents"? Why can't it just be battery. Full stop.?

    That being said, ORLANDOOOOOOOOO!!! Fuck Lake Eola.

  • ||

    Also, if justice truly exists (which it doesn't) she will be acquitted on all counts.

  • sarcasmic||

    Federal employees are more equal than the taxpayers who pay their salaries.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Fuck Lake Eola.

    As a frequent visitor to Orlando, I think this requires a bit more explanation.

  • ||

    Lake Eola is often declared the crown jewel of Orlando (because it is a public works project, as opposed to Disney or Universal, which are the reasons the place is a tourism Mecca). But despite being public property that my tax dollars go to support EVERY FUCKING DAY, city ordinances prevent normal, every day activities from taking place.

    I work downtown, a block and a half from the park, and sometimes on my lunch break I like to take a cat nap. What better place than a public park in the nice Florida sun, some might say. Well, except for the "You cannot lie horizontal on any raised surfaces" ordinance, or sit in any of the 200+ seats in the amphitheatre donated by Disney. So my alternatives are lie on the grass in goose shit, or take a nap in the break room of my office. Because I prefer keeping my clothes clean, it is the latter.

    Also, they have cracked down on feeding the homeless in the park. God forbid there are people with mental health problems struggling to survive each day in the park so that well-to-do condo owners downtown can enjoy a morning or evening run around the lake.

    FUCK LAKE EOLA.

  • sarcasmic||

    Parents are confiscating toy guns in wake of school shooting.
    http://www.today.com/moms/afte.....-1C7657757
    Never underestimate the power of the derp.

  • John||

    Next up, locking kids up for pointing.

  • Randian||

  • Rich||

    Thanks, Randian!

  • Rich||

    Something like this just happened, but I'm too lazy to google it. I believe the kid was cited for disorderly conduct.

  • Translucent Chum||

    My nine year old son and eight year old girl decorated a ginger bread house last night so we can do our annual blow it to pieces on New Year's Day. Started them both out with a Red Ryder a few years ago and now they are both getting proficient with a .22.

  • Restoras||

    I used to do that wih model tanks.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    That's funny.

    I just gave my kid a gun.

  • PowerBottom||

    Google Applet's users change appearance to asian. Asians upset.

    http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com.....?hpt=us_t3

  • PowerBottom||

    *Applet's...

  • PowerBottom||

    ^^wtf is this shit?

  • $park¥||

    Do guns really suck this bad or do cops just not know how to stow them?

    Officials say someone reached over the door and tried to grab his jacket, with the gun inside. Police say the gun fired twice, with both bullets hitting the ceiling. No one was injured.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "Police say the gun fired twice"

    I tells ya, you can't turn yer back on them things - bullets will come flying out at the drop of a hat!

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Do guns really suck this bad or do cops just not know how to stow them?

    You really have to ask?

  • ||

    Bullshit. He was fucking around with the gun in the stall and fired it accidentally.

  • $park¥||

    Another tragedy, another fraud.

    A New York City woman has been arrested by federal authorities who say she tried to scam donors by posing as a relative of one of the children killed at a Connecticut elementary school.

  • sloopyinca||

    Cop thinks it's OK to beat small children until they are hospitalized.

    I'm sure it helped that his coworkers didn't perform the investigation and that this sheepdog's case was sent to a grand jury.

  • ||

    Authorities said Breland is accused of abusing two 8-year-old girls... [by] repeatedly whipping the girls.

    I hate humanity. Still.

  • $park¥||

    You know where this is going: LOCK UP TEH CRAYZIES!

    The man was standing on the elevated platform of a 7 train in Queens at about 8 p.m. when he was shoved by the woman, who witnesses said had been following him closely and mumbling to herself, New York Police Department chief spokesman Paul Browne said. When the train pulled into the tracks, the woman got up from a nearby bench and shoved the man down, he said. The man had been standing with his back to her.

  • John||

    That is horrible.

  • Randian||

    And the NY Post published his near-death picture on the front page.

  • John||

    Assholes. Really. I actually like the Post. I like how it will print anything that sells regardless of whose ox it gores. But that is ridiculous.

  • $park¥||

    That's a different guy.

  • Randian||

    Ack reading comprehension fail.

  • John||

    How many people are being pushed onto subways? That is scary.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Apparently at least two. Your best options are massive weight gain or magnetic shoes.

  • John||

    Even with the weight gain, they could still roll you out there.

  • $park¥||

    In any case, there is no fucking way I would ever push to be nearest the tracks when the train comes in. I'll just stand back away from the ledge, thank you.

  • Rhywun||

    The newest thing is barriers that seal off the platform until the train arrives. I'm sure the MTA will get around to that in a hundred years or so.

  • Ska||

    There have been two in this month... and prior to that I can't think of any off the top of my head.

  • Rhywun||

    I would say once every couple years or so. I ride every day and I am *very* aware of who is around me and how I place my feet so that whoever pushes me is also going over.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Clearly we need to ban public transportation.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Or just redesign the stations. Seems to me that you could have the rails supported from the outside and then have a dead space between then so that if someone gets pushed or falls off the platform, they fall down into a gap under the reailway and the train passes over them rather than hitting them.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Or why have the train tunnel exposed? Put up a wall with elevator doors in it that don't open until the matching doors on the train cars open up.

  • sloopyinca||

    Sorry we tazed you illegally, but we thought you were somebody else. Of course, we could just plant our drop drugs on you instead of the guy we're looking for. Haha, just kidding. We can't do that because our dashcam was left on.

    No charges were filed against these sheepdogs for assaulting a sheep.

  • PowerBottom||

    In a just world, anyone who has ever been arrested for drugs under those officers would be freed with the apologies of the court. Among many other things happening to the 'officers'.

  • sarcasmic||

    In the video, an officer can be heard saying, “I might drop the dope in there,” prompting laughter from another officer.

    Humor must contain an element of truth to be funny, which suggests that dropping dope is a routine practice.

  • ||

    "...the other engaged in unbecoming conduct for his comments regarding the planting of drugs."

    No mention about what these guys were doing with dope in their possession. I wonder if that will be investigated.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Whenver someone mentions that whole sheep-sheepdog-wolf thing, I always point out that the sheepdog is there for the benefit of the sheppard, not the benefit of the sheep, and once the master has decided those sheep are no longer useful, will happily stand by while they are slaughtered.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Nice observation, which helps show the limits of arguing by analogy.

    I also hadn't heard before, your take on the reason for the 3rd Amendment, and I thought it interesting. Seems like a reasonable reason why the British and others had the practice.

  • sloopyinca||

    If you decide to go criminal and embezzle thousands of dollars over an extended period, leave a solid paper trail of 36 thefts, yet somehow only get 90 days in jail, well then you better join the Half Moon Bay, CA police department.

  • Ted S.||

    Didn't some loser post about this yesterday?

    Why yes, some loser did. ;-)

  • sloopyinca||

    PM to AM links double posting has been declared OK in committee and by a simple majority of the reason commentariat. Besides, I've been up four times overnight and I'm a little groggy on what the hell I did yesterday afternoon.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Officials say someone reached over the door and tried to grab his jacket, with the gun inside. Police say the gun fired twice

    A clear case of self-defense.

    Give the gun its back pay.

  • sloopyinca||

    Maybe he thought it was a big dog with horns: Police Officer shoots deer from patrol car while on duty.

    FTA (emphasis mine): “The officer has not been arrested but it’s alleged he shot a buck from the patrol vehicle in violation of state law,” said game warden, Captain Johnny Johnson. “An individual can`t do that, and neither can an officer."

    Hear that, people? They don't even consider themselves the same as "individuals". BTW he shot the buck on federal property, which is also a big no-no...for an individual or an officer.

  • sarcasmic||

    FTA: ”It coulda been a hazard to the public, you know, I don`t really know, it’s still an ongoing investigation.”

    Well there you go. The buck could have run in front of a civilian vehicle. Give this man a medal!

  • sloopyinca||

    Just for the lulz, someone up the chain of command needs to say "the buck stops here" and announce the charges against the officer/sheepdog. Right? Right?!?!

  • Drake||

    Man tries to shoot up the local police station. Doesn't get very far.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.s.....rt_m-rpt-1

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I wonder if that had anything to do with the station having guns present?

  • Not an Economist||

    The only way to make sure this doesn't happen again is to make sure police stations don't have guns on the premise. It is vital that our representatives make this happen immediately.

  • Delroy||

    So, a couple years ago I was convinced that I should buy flood insurance for my house (not exactly sure why - I think some consumer advocate said everyone should buy it). But when i looked into it further, I decided not to renew the last time the insurance expired. I figured out that there's very low risk of flood damage to my house.

    Ever since then, I've been receiving regular FEMA marketing materials encouraging me to buy it. What the hell?! Does FEMA need low-risk homes like mine to pay premiums to cover the payouts on the high-risk homes? Why is the government MARKETING a product to me?

  • tarran||

    Does FEMA need low-risk homes like mine to pay premiums to cover the payouts on the high-risk homes? Why is the government MARKETING a product to me?

    Yes. They are hemorrhaging money.

  • Restoras||

    They need to spend all the dollars it gets from Congress or esle it won't get more next year.

  • Ted S.||

    Because fuck you, that's why?

  • Delroy||

    Oh yeah. I should have thought of this.

  • Translucent Chum||

    NFIP is underwater.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Yes because that's how insurance works.

    And: just wait until the gov't starts marketing health insurance to you.

  • Delroy||

    Ok, I understand that's how insurance works in a free market. But FEMA isn't competing with anybody. I understood the NFIP as a program to assist those idiots that bought a house in a flood plain because a real insurance company would never insure such a house.

  • John||

    If you buy insurance, you are paying premiums and contributing. If you don't, you are not paying premiums and not contributing, but FEMA still ends up rebuilding your house.

  • Translucent Chum||

    A lot of companies have WYO (write your own) flood policies that compete with NFIP. And NFIP claims are a complete bitch to handle for the adjuster.

  • sloopyinca||

    Piece of shit human being gets new piece of shit job after being allowed to retire from piece of shit department that never punished him for his well-documented racial profiling, racial abuse and generally piss-poor conduct as a human being.

    God bless our pubsec unions, for without them, this man may not have been able to continue his persistent pattern of illegal and abusive activities under color of the law. And God bless our hiring process for the TSA so he will continue to do so and eventually draw two taxpayer-funded pensions.

  • Rhywun||

    TSA policy prohibited her from releasing Glinsky’s salary or hire date

    I'm sorry but what the fuck? *We* pay their salaries and we are not allowed to know how much?! I'm guessing we are also not privileged enough to find out their prior criminal records either.

  • John||

    The New York Times seems concerned that teens in the fracking belt of eastern Montana are opting to work in the new oil-field economy right after high school rather than going straight on to college. A front-page story warns: Taking a job is “a lucrative but risky decision for any 18-year-old to make, one that could foreclose on his future if the frenzied pace of oil and gas drilling from here to North Dakota to Texas falters and work dries up.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....ac-donald#

    OMG, the childrenz working for a living rather than wasting four years of their life and running up debt they will never pay back to support the academic industrial complex. The HUMANITY!!!

  • Randian||

    Well, it's certainly no different than the concern that kids I graduated with would take the first factory job they could find and knock some girl up.

  • John||

    There is this great scene in the old 80s movie "Broadcast News". In it one of the main characters is shown as a kid graduating from high school. He was the total class nerd and after the ceremony several kids are seen beating him up. During the beating he says something to the effect of

    "Okay, here it is. I am finally going to tell you. You asked for it. I am going to see the world. And you will never leave Queens and never make more the $30,000 a year."

    The lead bully then completes the beating and walks off saying

    "$30,000 a year. That is not bad".

    For some people the first factory job and a knocked up wife is a good life.

  • nicole||

    And, for some people being pressured into college and a "respectable" job is a really shitty life.

  • John||

    Bingo Nicole.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    And if there were any sense of intellectual integrity left in the academy, as opposed to academia being political training camps where intellectual honesty is a handicap rather than an asset, every single one of the kids who have been pressured in to college would fail out.

    As someone who taught incoming freshman for years at the University of Kentucky, I can absolutely attest to the FACT that most of the people who are being accepted in to college shouldn't be there.

  • nicole||

    every single one of the kids who have been pressured in to college would fail out

    Not necessarily. Some of them would just be really unhappy. There are plenty of smart and capable people who just don't really want to do that with their lives. Of course, that doesn't mean a lot of people shouldn't fail out, including plenty who did want to go.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    And if there were any sense of intellectual integrity left in the academy, as opposed to academia being political training camps where intellectual honesty is a handicap rather than an asset, every single one of the kids who have been pressured in to college would fail out.

    Hey, just becuase your liberal arts degree is worthless doesn't mean you need to slander the engineering, science, and business majors.

  • Rhywun||

    There's a commercial running all the time now that says something like "Every child can and should go to college!" and I try shouting back "No, stupid!" but it doesn't work.

  • nicole||

    That's really fucking disgusting. I mean, I guess taking out a bunch of student loans is risky, but since it's not "lucrative and risky" that makes it okay. God this is horrible.

  • John||

    It really is. In this economy, if you have a chance to get a good paying job, take it.

  • robc||

    Its not like universities wont accept 28 year old freshmen either.

  • Randian||

    Eh, student loans really aren't all that risky, IMO. They'll practically let you pull a Planned Parenthood and "pay what you can afford".

  • John||

    They will. But there is a downside to that. While you are paying what you can afford, the unpaid interest is amortizing. And it also screws up your credit. Student loans are a real menace.

  • nicole||

    They're risky in terms of ROI.

  • Randian||

    Well, like all things, it depends on what you sink the capital in to.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    ... could foreclose on his future if the frenzied pace of oil and gas drilling from here to North Dakota to Texas falters and work dries up.

    Is it just me, or does that sound a heckuvalot like a threat...

  • Brett L||

    Yeah. $50k/year at 18 just breaks my fucking heart.

  • sloopyinca||

    Man beats up his girlfriend. Is given paid vacation.

  • ||

    The perks of being a city worker and wearing a costume.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    And the NY Post published his near-death picture on the front page.

    Did they express their regrets it wasn't Wayne La Pierre?

  • Randian||

    John and I already devised a brilliant political cartoon along those lines.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Does FEMA need low-risk homes like mine to pay premiums to cover the payouts on the high-risk homes?

    *points to nose*

  • Michael S. Langston||

    The White House has not done a good job responding to petitions that receive more than 25,000 signatures on the We the People website

    I know this is likely another failed promise by this WH, like GITMO, secret detentions, etc/etc/etc....but for a WH website, 25K signatures seems a very low hurdle...

    I'm pretty sure on such websites as the Daily Kos, one could get 25K signatures on something like "Jail all Republican officials if no deal is reached before the financial 'cliff'."

    Possibly even get the same result on a WH site...

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It is somewhat limited by the fact that you need to get a .gov account to sign, so at least people can't just spam votes.

  • sloopyinca||

    Methinks the reason the WH has stopped responding is because once Drudge caught on and started trolling the hell out of the WH on many of these, it's become a joke to them.

    As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that turd Jay Carney blame Drudge in a press briefing for polluting the democratic process and causing the WH to stop responding to petitions.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I was going to add that too - that with such a low hurdle, if individuals can add their own petitions, I can easily see them getting 100K signatures for things they would despise, such as "ban all abortions".

    For them to blame others though isn't the least bit surprising :)

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Virginia Postrel discovered an old Vogue ad from 1974 - scrolling text advertises product from "far away in a distant galaxy"

    http://www.dynamist.com/2444/d.....read-vogue

    (Thanks to the Volokh Conspiracy for this link)

  • John||

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012.....ch-school/

    Arizona’s attorney general is proposing making one school staffer with exceptionally good aim the heat-packing point person for emergency school security.

    I like that idea. Let one person at each school volunteer for a safety and shooting course and be the designated armed response if some nut ever shows up. You could also let parents form volunteer school watch programs. Solve the entire problem for free.

  • sloopyinca||

    Except, since school employees get about 10 weeks of paid time off a year (not counting summers), there's a 20-25% chance that "designated" responder won't even be around.

    Also, why do they think it's OK to "designate" one person's 2A Rights to them while continuing to deny it to everyone else on staff? Fuck that bullshit. Either grant the rights (you know what I mean) to every teacher than chooses to exercise them or not.

    Will they also designate one teacher as the person whose shit cannot be searched without a warrant as they enter the building?

  • John||

    No you half wit. If you have one person who is trained to respond, that doesn't mean other people can't come armed if they like. I don't know if you have met many grade school teachers, but they generally don't pack heat. For most schools you are going to have try and get someone to volunteer to do it. It won't happen organically. And gee, maybe it is a good idea to actually train people how to shoot and use the weapon. Just because you own and carry a weapon doesn't mean you know how to use it effectively.

    I am as pro second amendment as anyone. And am a good shot. But I still wouldn't turn down the training, especially if I might some day be shooting to kill around a bunch of kids.

  • sloopyinca||

    No you half wit. If you have one person who is trained to respond, that doesn't mean other people can't come armed if they like.

    Oh, really? According to the Arizona AG it does.

    FTA (emphasis mine): Arizona’s attorney general is proposing making one school staffer with exceptionally good aim the heat-packing point person for emergency school security.

    Tom Horne said on CNN that he believes blanket proposals to let teachers bring guns to school “would create more dangers than it would solve.

    Sounds to me like he's fine with keeping it at one person per school. And that's a load of bullshit.

  • John||

    I would love to hand out M14s to everyone. Hell, I might become a teacher if it meant getting my own M14. But it isn't happening. There are a lot of hills worth dying on. But "OMG" only one person in the school is going to be armed, isn't one of them.

    Right now, no one can carry so much as an air rifle. If the rule changed and at least one person was armed, that would be an improvement. Would it be ideal? No. But it would be better. I think Libertarians have spent enough time kicking themselves in the nuts for spite. Especially when you consider that a good portion of the country has gone insane over Newtown, I think half a loaf of allowing some weapons at schools without filling the place with cops, is a really good result all things considered.

  • sloopyinca||

    Spoken like a government employee where compromise is the order of the day and rights are never recognized.

    I'm looking for the 2A exemption that states only 1 person per school be allowed to exercise their God-given right to self defense but I can't fucking find it. Could you help me out, John?

    And no, this is not a "half a loaf" situation. It's the defense of a fundamental right to keep and bear arms that you seem to think can be solved by only restoring that right to one person out of several depending on where they happen to be employed.

    There are a lot of hills worth dying on. But "OMG" only one person in the school is going to be armed, isn't one of them.

    Yeah, the 2A being enforced equally for all citizens that happen to teach at the same school isn't a hill worth dying on. And you're calling others half-wits?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Would it be ideal? No. But it would be better. I think Libertarians have spent enough time kicking themselves in the nuts for spite. Especially when you consider that a good portion of the country has gone insane over Newtown,...

    No, no, no, John.

    It's much more important to maintain ideological purity, and attack icky defenders of 2nd amendment rights than it is to advance those rights in an incremental way.

    Even if doing so results in Feinstein's new law being enacted.

  • sloopyinca||

    How is it "better" to codify a further restriction of our 2A Rights? What would be better is for some teachers with balls to carry on school grounds and get fired/arrested so they will have standing so this can go to the SC and the existing restrictions can be struck down for the infringement that they are.

    Sorry, but "incrementally advancing" what is and/or should be a fundamental right is not the way to go. Especially when it involves state-sanctioning of certain people as "trained" and "worthy" of exercising their rights.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    How is it "better" to codify a further restriction of our 2A Rights? What would be better is for some teachers with balls to carry on school grounds

    Yes it would be better to simply allow teachers and administrators to carry if they wanted. Enough would to improve the situation.

    However, most schools are legally gun free zones and getting generalized concealed carry is simply not going yo happen. However, allowing "certified" public school employees to carry is an improvement over gun free zones. And will desensitize people to the "oh my god guns is schools" bullshit. A few years down the road it can be expanded with little fan fare.

  • John||

    Clearly Libertarians need to recall that AG. He is not pure enough. Nothing helps with the success of an idea, than killing your own.

  • sloopyinca||

    Yes, selectively granting 2A rights is just the way to go! Sorry, but it's all or none. This restriction is a slippery slope in the opposite direction, but for some odd reason you just can't see it because you're a government employee that's happy to accept what you're given as opposed to taking what is rightfully yours and demanding they respect it.

  • R C Dean||

    Sorry, John, but I just can't get on board with the idea that only an armed agent of the state should be allowed to defend himself or others.

    My taste for incrementalism is declining as the slippery slope only seems to run in the direction of MOAR TOTAL STATE.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I don't know if you have met many grade school teachers, but they generally don't pack heat.

    My sister carries and she is a kindergarten teacher.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Is it a good idea for everyone to know whom the armed volunteer is? We don't make air marshalls identify themselves.
    Let the nut jobs worry that any adult they encounter may be armed and dangerous to them.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers issued a joint statement opposing arming any teachers, arguing that schools should be “sanctuaries, not armed fortresses.”"

    Yes, sanctuaries in which deranged assassins can do their bloody business without interference.

    Holding your breath and refusing to accept reality isn't a substitute for good policy, but I suppose that so long as it makes these union officials feel good, that's OK.

  • nicole||

    Sanctuaries? Funny, I thought they were prisons.

  • sloopyinca||

    Astronomers have released a photo of the universe when it was only 375,000 years old.

    Did they go back in time, or is it a photo of what they think the universe may have looked like when it was only 375,000 years old?

    FTA: WMAP launched in 2001 and from its perch a million miles away from Earth (in the direction opposite the sun) it scanned the heavens, mapping out the afterglow of the hot, young universewith unprecedented accuracy.

    It's the height of hubris to think a mere 9 consecutive years worth of data enables man to map what the universe would have looked like billions of years ago. What's next, indepth interviews with cavemen based on the finding of a jawbone in a cave?

    What a bunch of pseudoscientific bullshit.

  • John||

    Did they go back in time, or is it a photo of what they think the universe may have looked like when it was only 375,000 years old?

    No. You can see the actual light. You just have to find a point that is so far away that it took that long for the light to reach earth. Looking into the sky, because the distances are so vast, is looking back in time.

  • sloopyinca||

    Except they didn't use light, they used microwave patterns.

    FTA (emphasis mine): "The universe encoded its autobiography in the microwave patterns we observe across the whole sky," Charles Bennett, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University who heads the WMAP science team, said in a statement. "When we decoded it, the universe revealed its history and contents. It is stunning to see everything fall into place."

    IOW, "it's stunning to see the data we have collected fit in with our preconceived theory." Sounds like these guys are taking a page out of the AGW playbook.

  • John||

    Yes because the microwaves are just light. And they were emitted by the big bang. I don't see why what they did was invalid.

  • Timon 19||

    Light and microwaves are exactly the same sort of thing: electromagnetic radiation. It all travels at speed=c. It is 100% valid to reconstruct what the universe "looked like" using different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. It's done all the time, not least of which because the properties of certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation allow for better penetration through obscurants like interstellar dust. Visible light actually sort of sucks in that regard.

  • sarcasmic||

    We have been moving as well as the light, and not nearly as fast.

    So any visible electromagnetic waves produced by the big bang would have passed the matter that would become our solar system the moment it happened.

    Looks to me like some clever scientists scammed some stupid government bureaucrats out of a lot of grant money. Not that that is unusual or anything. In my experience the more money some government dude controls, the stupider the person is.

  • $park¥||

    Why do you guys insist on arguing with John about subjects he's obviously an expert on. And by subjects he's obviously an expert on, I mean everything.

  • sarcasmic||

    I wonder how much government money John controls. I bet it's a lot.

  • Not an Economist||

    Well he is more right than anybody else who has commented so far.

  • Not an Economist||

    We haven't seen the light from the big bang yet and probably won't. You need to understand the Big Bang theory (named by a skeptic). Light from the Big Bang could not have passed through us because matter (and light) (let alone us) did not exist before the Big Bang. Look up what the Big Bang theory actually is before commenting more.

  • sarcasmic||

    You should change your handle to Not a Physicist.

  • sarcasmic||

    According to the Big Bang theory, all the matter and energy that makes up the universe expanded from a single point in space all at the same time.

    Light (electromagnetic energy) travels faster than matter.

    Any light we see from behind us looking towards the bang is light coming from matter that isn't traveling away from the bang as fast as us.

    The light from the bang itself is waaaaaay past us.

    You fail basic physics.

  • nicole||

    The light from the bang itself is waaaaaay past us.

    Isn't this what Not an Economist is saying? That we haven't seen it, because it went "past us" like, billions of years before we existed?

  • sarcasmic||

    Isn't this what Not an Economist is saying?

    He used the word "yet".

  • Not an Economist||

    I guess you never heard of a particle called photons, which is makes up light. And a particle is matter.

    Oh yeah according to Einstein matter is energy.

    So I guessed you failed basic basic physics.

  • sarcasmic||

    Matter has mass. Photons have no mass. You fail again.

  • robc||

    Photons have no rest mass. They abso-fucking-lutely have mass though.

    Their relativistic mass is equal to their energy divided by the sum of the speed of light squared.

    E = hc/λ, which means that m=h/cλ, so the shorter the wavelength, the greater the mass.

  • sarcasmic||

    Photons have no rest mass.

    Which is what the term "mass" (excepting Catholicism of course) is assumed to mean 99% of the time.

  • robc||

    Which is what the term "mass" (excepting Catholicism of course) is assumed to mean 99% of the time.

    Not in physics, it isnt. At least not when discussing high speed particles.

    Considering photons cannot rest (maybe), it seems silly to ever consider their rest mass.

    When discussing the mass of a photon, 99% of the time its the relativistic mass that is being discussed, because the rest mass is a boring case that doesnt need any discussion.

  • sloopyinca||

    Serious question here (because I've not taken a physics class in 20+ years): if you took a snapshot of time, wouldn't a photon technically be "at rest" and their mass determined?

    You say they cannot rest, but you then say (maybe). If it can't be determined that they can or cannot rest, how can it be said that they have or don't have a defined rest mass?

    Of course, I still think the Big Bang is a scam. To say there was nothing and then there was everything without attributing any cause to the change is absurd.

  • sarcasmic||

    Photons do not have mass in the sense that you can't sit them on a scale and weigh them.
    They do have mass in the sense that they can be influenced by gravity.

    Of course, I still think the Big Bang is a scam.

    It's a way for nerds to get paid by government research grants to do nerdy things.

  • Not an Economist||

    "To say there was nothing and then there was everything without attributing any cause to the change is absurd."

    You are mixing cause and effect. We don't know what caused the Big Bang. A sudden expansion of something which then became our universe is the best explanation we have.

  • sloopyinca||

    You are mixing cause and effect. We don't know what caused the Big Bang. A sudden expansion of something which then became our universe is the best explanation we have.

    A sudden expansion of "something" conflicts with the basic tenet of the theory that prior to the Big Bang, there was nothing in the universe.

    If that's the best explanation "scientists" have, then they're fucked.

  • robc||

    Serious question here (because I've not taken a physics class in 20+ years): if you took a snapshot of time, wouldn't a photon technically be "at rest" and their mass determined?

    Heisenberg. σ(x)σ(p) = ħ/2

    At that snapshot, the closer you know the position of the photon, the less you know about its momentum, and vice versa. So, no, it wouldnt be at rest.

    You say they cannot rest, but you then say (maybe). If it can't be determined that they can or cannot rest, how can it be said that they have or don't have a defined rest mass?

    Its an argument* in the physics community. The zero rest mass for the photon is an assumption. Experimentally, it is known that the rest mass is less than 1×10−18 eV/c2. Some others have suggested it is less than 3×10−27 eV/c2.

    That previous paragraph is from wikipedia, so YMMV.

    *not really, I think everyone assumes it is zero, but putting an upper limit on it is what experimentalists do.

  • sloopyinca||

    Thanks, robc. I think I can safely assume this is out of my comfort zone. (The photon question, not my thoughts on the Big Bang theory)

  • sarcasmic||

    To say there was nothing and then there was everything without attributing any cause to the change is absurd.

    At the center of every galaxy is a black hole. Perhaps galaxies eventually collapse into black holes which eventually all become attracted to each other to become one black hole containing all the matter and energy in the universe which then goes BANG. One thing I know for certain is that we will never know for certain.

  • Tonio||

    Thanks, robc.

  • $park¥||

    I guess you never heard of a particle called photons

    I guess you've never heard of wave-particle duality.

  • Not an Economist||

    Actually, I have. And that doesn't change the fact that photons exist and have mass when moving (which just about always,although I've read we may have slowed photons a lot).

  • sarcasmic||

    Oh yeah according to Einstein matter is energy.

    No. According to Einstein matter and energy are interchangeable. Not the same thing.

    I'm starting to think you didn't fail physics after all. You can't fail what you never studied.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Not quite true, according to theory the Big Bang not only created energy and matter, but space and time, as well. Which is an odd concept to wrap your head around.

  • sloopyinca||

    Not quite true, according to theory the Big Bang not only created energy and matter, but space and time, as well. Which is an odd concept to wrap your head around.

    Without belief in a supreme being it is.

  • Not an Economist||

    It is only the best (when modified by inflation) theory we have. It isn't perfect, but it explains more than most.

  • sloopyinca||

    It doesn't explain anything more clearly than the Book Of Genesis without taking as big a leap of faith as those who believe in God.

  • $park¥||

    Without belief in a supreme being it is.

    Why you need to try to shoehorn religion in here? Not everyone needs the concept of an all powerful creator setting everything in motion.

  • sloopyinca||

    I'm not saying they do. I was just stating my opinion that without belief in a supreme being, it would be hard to accept that in one instant, there was nothing but void (if even that) and the next moment there was everything in the universe without something there to make the change.

  • sarcasmic||

    Not everyone needs the concept of an all powerful creator setting everything in motion.

    Some believe that an all powerful creator always existed, and that the matter and energy that makes up the universe had a beginning (and will have an end).

    I believe that the matter and energy that makes up the universe always existed. Why must there be a beginning and end? Just because life has a beginning and end doesn't mean the universe must.

  • $park¥||

    I believe that the matter and energy that makes up the universe always existed. Why must there be a beginning and end? Just because life has a beginning and end doesn't mean the universe must.

    This is the way I find myself leaning as well. When many people still have an image in their minds of matter being made of tiny dots which in turn are made of tiny dots, I hate to believe that our understanding of the universe in anywhere near accurate.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Huh? I guess that is a joke, but what i find difficult to conceptualize is space-time itself not existing. Can intellectually grasp the idea, but trying to imagine what that actually means practically is headache inducing.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    according to the Big Bang Theory, nerds are lovable and misunderstood.

    Therefore the Big Bang Theory is a lie.

  • Mickey Rat||

    I thought nerds were horny jerkasses, unless they are not horny, then they are enormous jerkasses.

  • sloopyinca||

    My point is that they're passing this "picture" off as fact when it's nothing more than a simulated model of what they think the universe looked like billions of years ago based on a sample data size no bigger than a thimblefull of water is compared to the ocean in terms of time passage (9 years vs 19 billion+). And on top of that, they had a predetermined idea of what the picture would look like and likely created their models to come to this conclusion.

  • sarcasmic||

    they had a predetermined idea of what the picture would look like and likely created their models to come to this conclusion

    If it's good enough for climate science, I guess it's good enough for astronomy!

    They both get their funding from the same place, right?

    Consensus for the win!

  • Not an Economist||

    There is a lot of astronomical and cosmological science behind this. It seems to fit the theory. I haven't heard of anything that suggests they have altered the data. There are ways to tell how old(and far something is away) something is based on the wavelength of light. You know how sound of a car changes as it passes by? Well light does the same thing. This was first written about by an astronomer name Edwin Hubbel.

  • sloopyinca||

    Light from the Big Bang could not have passed through us because matter (and light) (let alone us) did not exist before the Big Bang.

    Then please tell us where it came from, smart guy.

  • Not an Economist||

    There are a lot of theories, none of which have much grounding in reality yet. Look up something called "branes" for one theory.

    So in short no one knows.

  • Ted S.||

    Look up something called "branes" for one theory.

    So zombies created the Big Bang?

  • Brett L||

    Did this go up last night? Daily Mail gets its knickers in a twist about Yanks posing with AR-15s they got for Christmas.

    Santa Claus came to town - and he was packing heat - as numerous Americans were seen on social networks posing in front of their Christmas trees with the same assault rifle used by the gunmen in three recent bloody killings.

  • John||

    I love it. Half of them are women too.

  • R C Dean||

    Some real cuties, to boot.

    The local gun stores will be restocking next week, so I should have my new carry pistol soon.

    When I dropped in at my fave, they had new "silencers are legal" posters up.

    Deeply conflicted about getting another, what's the term? Ah, "modern sporting rifle". Damned things are expensive, and though they hold their value really well, over a long time period, there's a real risk of confiscation.

  • sarcasmic||

    there's a real risk of confiscation

    Buy it from a private party with cash. They can't confiscate it if they don't know you have it.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Sure they can. They'll just have to search everyone's home.

  • sarcasmic||

    If they try door-to-door gun confiscation in this country they better disable all phone and internet communication, because once the word gets out that it's for real, there will be war.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    If they try door-to-door gun confiscation in this country they better disable all phone and internet communication, because once the word gets out that it's for real, there will be war.

    THIS.

  • db||

    They're not going to go door to door. That's not how they work. They pass a law making illegal for you not to come to them to register your guns.

  • sloopyinca||

    They're not going to go door to door.

    Not after the first dozen or so end up with a few pieces of lead in them.

  • db||

    As I suspected, new gun control propositions will use the long-established NFA framework to further restrict citizens' access to firearms. It appears the NRA is going to have to face the ugly truth that while they've sold the NFA firearms community down the line for decades as the redheaded stepchildren of the gun-owning community, the NFA will have to become an important part of their efforts.

    This new ban from Feinstein is particularly egregious, as it creates a new category of NFA regulated firearms and simultaneously prohibits their transfer, such that upon the death of the registered owner, the firearms will be forfeit to the government. I haven't read enough yet to see if this language is applied to current NFA weapons as well.

    The language that prohibits transfer amounts to as close to a total ban as is possible, and it may be that it would be found to conflict with the Heller and McDonald decisions.

  • sloopyinca||

    There's no way in hell that bill gets to the Senate floor. And if it does the House won't even put it to a vote (at the request of 2A-supportive Team Blue Reps that don't want their party to know where they stand on the issue). It's DOA, as someone noted above.

  • db||

    The bad thing is the NFA already exists...it's a simple matter to introduce language adding an "assault weapon" classification to any bill forever and ever. Why they didn't try that in '94 I don't know. Maybe none of them remembered the NFA existed.

  • db||

    Of course, now that I think of it, the NFA is part of the tax code, I think. So, modifications to it may have to originate in the House, if they are "revenue generating." Not that that will stop any tricky parliamentary shenanigans.

  • Brett L||

    WTF is wrong with women? I just don't even... After a bad breakup you drink (or drug) yourself into stupidity and make poor decisions about who to have sex with until you've totally forgotten about that fucking bitch.

    I asked everyone else I knew to share their most shameful post-breakup confessions, just so I’d feel less alone in my weirdness. Below. the strangest things people have done to cope with heartbreak. Human beings are so bizarre and wonderful, aren’t we?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    After a bad breakup you drink (or drug) yourself into stupidity and make poor decisions about who to have sex with until you've totally forgotten about that fucking bitch.

    Sounds like you've got a bit longer to go. Should have broken up with her first!

  • Brett L||

    No, mate. My picker is broken. Any woman I really want is going to be a fucking disaster. Which is why I've started dating women who I find interesting and cute rather than sexy and irresistible. Turns out my happiness level is net higher. But yeah, if I meet a girl that sends a bolt of lightning through me, I should run the fuck away. Fuck my broken brain.

  • Ted S.||

    Maybe you'll have better luck if you try being gay. ;-)

  • nicole||

    You forgot poor decisions about what to eat and watch on TV.

  • Brett L||

    I'm not sure men make good eating decisions at any time they're unsupervised.

  • R C Dean||

    I'll be interested to read the final bill, of course, but from her summary, it sure looks to me like DiFi's gun control bill will require the registration of all guns.

    Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
    Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment;
    Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes; and
    Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons.

    Hard to know if the "exempted" weapons will be classified as grandfathered. If not, then anyone who buys a weapon not on the list (meaning, any new models) will have to register.

    And, of course, the registration process is as much gun owner registration as gun registration.

    Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include:
    Background check of owner and any transferee;
    Type and serial number of the firearm;
    Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
    Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
    Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Dianne Feinstein circa 1995:

    If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here.

    Totally respects of the right of self-defense.

  • sarcasmic||

    She would rather you die with a phone in your hand than live with a gun in your hand.

  • nicole||

    She would rather you die with a phone in your hand boot on your face than live with a gun in your hand.

  • db||

    The "grandfathered" weapons will not be transferable to anyone, and must be forfeited to the government upon the death of the original registrant.

  • db||

    This according to a link from the NRA/ILA I posted here.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I wonder for how many legislators think that when they take the oath to "protect the Constitution" they just automatically believe the Constitution is whatever they say it is.

    And without any sense of irony or concerns for when they're no longer in power... just wow.

  • sloopyinca||

    Well, when they come to my house to take mine or fingerprint me, it will not end well for one of us.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Sen Scott Brown incorrect about Obama proposal

    President Barack Obama reached out and provided Senate Republicans with another offer to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown wrote on his Facebook page. But CNBC and others quickly disputed that report, saying that Democrats and the White House were denying the report.

    I sincerely hope this was a trick on Sen Brown's part to get the WH to openly admit they have zero proposals to avoid the FiscalCliff, but truthfully it will not matter as the calculus of the WH strategy is obvious.

    A) Polls show most people think the Republicans are to blame, even though the cliff hasn't yet been reached.
    B) Once the FiscalCliff is reached, and taxes go up on everyone, the Treasury Department can use accounting tactics to keep taxes on the vast majority of paychecks the same (except 2% payroll increase). Which changes the entire debate from "Don't raise taxes at all by hitting the FiscalCliff" to "do you want to cut them for the majority or not?"

    So.... the WH takes no blame and ends in a better bargaining position.

    Note: If somehow the Republicans could trade enough to avoid the cliff, and Obama could get enough credit for it, then it's still possible this is averted. It just seems unlikely.

  • robc||

    Why would we want to avert pre-approved spending "cuts" anyway?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    It's racist to be in favor of automatic spending cuts that a half-black president signed into law. Don't you know anything?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Those won't happen. I assume some cuts will exist, but the accounting gimics which will be used by the Treasury Department to ensure paychecks stay mostly the same, will be used to continue funding most of the government at the levels they want.

    Geithner on "fiscal cliff"

    The United States federal government will reach its debt limit of 16.4 trillion dollars by the end of the year.

    The country's Treasury Secretary says the department will take measures to keep the government from reaching the limit for about two months.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Because they're being applied in a dumb as way. If you salary gets cut, you stop going to Starbucks. You don't stop going to Starbucks on Friday and only pay 90% of your mortgage payment.

  • Sevo||

    CA Supremes decide unions deserve special protects, 'cause the state likes 'em so much:
    "The laws are "justified by the state's interest in promoting collective bargaining to resolve labor disputes .."
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/art.....150187.php
    So the CA courts were owned by the unions now also.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Maybe the legislator's could just rewrite it...

    An appellate court in Sacramento had declared the laws unconstitutional in 2010 because they single out labor speech for special protection, allowing unions to assemble on private property outside a store to communicate to the public about a labor dispute.

    Why single out unions? Shouldn't it just be the case that no one, except the property owner, can allow any speech, political or otherwise, on the property they own?

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