A.M. Links: Majority on Govt. Privacy Board Say NSA Data Collection is Illegal, Huckabee May Run in 2016, Texas Executes Mexican Citizen

Credit: National Security Agency/wikimediaCredit: National Security Agency/wikimedia

  • Three of the five members of a government privacy board reportedly think that the NSA’s collection of telephone metadata is illegal and have said that the government should “purge the database of telephone records that have been collected and stored during the program's operation.”
  • Texas executed a Mexican national yesterday despite the Mexican government saying that the execution would violate international law. Secretary of State John Kerry asked Texan officials to delay the execution.
  • Virginia’s attorney general has said that state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional and that he will not defend it in federal lawsuits.  
  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee might be considering a 2016 presidential run.
  • Russian law will allow authorities to spy on all communication in Sochi during the Winter Olympics.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said “more could have been done” to plow the Upper East Side.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee might be considering a 2016 presidential run.

    Goddammit.

  • ||

    Hello.

  • ||

    Swearing?

    I think you guys are ready to learn.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80hDh7KbKOM

    Chalice de niaseux...‘backcheck!’ T’ comprend l’anglais tabernak? Back. Check!

    Anyway, j'ai tombe dans l'driveway comme un espece de chalice.

  • ||

    Don't learn from someone who thinks tomber is an "avoir" verb!

    This, now this is where you learn to swear in Quebecois.

    Rufus, if you haven't seen this movie, you should. It's dopey but funny.

  • ||

    avoir verb?

    Yes, saw it. Truth is, Quebec can pump out the odd very good flick. C.R.A.Z.Y was one of them.

  • ||

    Vous êtes tombé, monsieur, and yes I am more formal than y'all.

  • ||

    First off, I don't have a French keyboard. Second, it's not 'vous etes tombe' since I was referring to 'I fell' 'donc, j'ai tombe.'

    In Quebecois - which is French slang.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    It's like those French have a different word for everything.

  • ||

    If you fell, and didn't drop something, you go with être though--moi je suis tombée, mais j'ai tombé la tasse de café. I don't think you guys actually change that even with all your chums and blondes and other horrible things.

  • mr simple||

    What's wrong with a Canadian blonde?

  • Cdr Lytton||

    You don't have a French keyboard?!?!? I thought both English and French keyboards were required to be sold together with every PC by Canadian law. Or was it French and English keys side by side on one keyboard - all 202 keys?

  • ||

    Thanks for the lesson. Only been speaking, like, all my life.

    French grammar was never a strong point that 'je suis tombe' is correct but I know that:

    'mais j'ai tombé la tasse de café.'

    makes no sense.

    J'ai echappe la tasse de cafe.

    A la prochaine.

  • ||

    It's actually optional.

    Not sure why I didn't opt for one. I do weird things sometimes.

  • Raven Nation||

    In good news, this Omaha police officer has been reinstated b/c an arbitrator determined that he did not use excessive force:

    http://www.jrn.com/kmtv/news/O.....24131.html

    FYI: at 50 secs in when he starts to punch the guy on the ground - the guy had already been subdued & was in handcuffs when these punches were thrown. There are longer clips on youtube.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    So that's what Peyton has been yelling about all season

  • Brett L||

    What? He has no chance and we'll get to see Cool Huck the Bass Player, not the other persona.

  • Robert||

    You're probably right, but funny (both in the ha-ha and odd senses) things happen over the course of a presidential nomination campaign, even in a minor party. There's always a slight chance that a candidate who is the 1st or even 2nd choice of very few will be acceptable enough to win the nomination when the party is divided.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I'm anticipating the conniptions the GOP will have when they realize that, unless they play nice, Rand Paul might possibility take his talents to the LP. (Not that he ever would, but they will come to fear the possibility.)

  • Zeb||

    Unless they do him like they did Gary Johnson, that seems very unlikely. And Rand already has a much higher profile. SO did Ron, I guess, but he already had a much more fringey reputation.

  • ||

    Yeah, the GOP would hate to have the guy who they're gonna never, ever going to give the nomination to anyway, marginalize himself entirely by hitching his wagon to the star of a party that's never pulled more than 2% of the national vote.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    You really think Rand Paul would only pull 2% running third party? (Again, I don't think he would, but the possibility should scare some.)

  • Zeb||

    I could see him easily being a serious potential spoiler for the GOP as a Libertarian, even if he'd still definitely not win. Though I wouldn't be surprised if he could do even better as an independent if he coudl get on enough ballots that way. The LP has a bit too much baggage.

  • Jon Lester||

    I got an anti-abortion letter from him just today, so I seriously doubt if he's ready to go to the LP proper.

  • Zeb||

    They did run Bob Barr that one time. I imagine Rand would be more palatable than Barr was.

  • Jon Lester||

    And now we have Barr trying to get his old job back, as a Republican.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Three of the five members of a government privacy board reportedly think that the NSA’s collection of telephone metadata is illegal...

    Who gave the panel a copy of the Bill of Rights?

  • Doctor Whom||

    [Obamapologist]

    This is a serious issue, and in response -- Look! Over there! Something about Justin Bieber's cell phone!

    [/Obamapologist]

  • thom||

    How many people will serve time because of this illegal activity? Oh, that's right, probably only the guy who reported it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    As mentioned below, the board is actually suggesting they delete the evidence of their wrongdoing. I think normally people get extra jail time for just that part.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Do they charge for drinks?

    Brussels mayor's signed undies stolen from bar

    The proprietor of an anarchist bar and museum in the Belgian capital said someone swiped an autographed pair of the Brussels mayor's underpants.

    Jan Bucquoy, owner of the De Dolle Mol bar in Brussels, said Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur's undies were noticed missing during the weekend from the Museum of Underpants, which adorns the walls of the establishment, the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.
  • Brett L||

    They're anarchists, not commies. Of course they charge for drinks.

  • BardMetal||

    The patrons just refuse to pay.

  • Brett L||

    Why are you glibertarians having a hard time with voluntary transactions that are at the heart of anarchism? Did H&R get bought by Gawker overnight?

  • BardMetal||

    And how exactly are they going to make me pay if I don't want to?

  • SugarFree||

    The direct way. Anarchist doesn't mean pacifist.

  • Zeb||

    Depends on what kind of anarchists they are. Maybe at gunpoint. Maybe they just refuse to server you in the future.

  • mr simple||

    Maybe they contract their own police service.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    WHO'S ENFORCING THE CONTRACT? And on what roads?

  • Jon Lester||

    Isn't theft by deception against the NAP?

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    The first day I arrived at this U. I got offered a communist paper in front of the library. I asked him if it was free and he said "no because we are still under capitalism!" That was a nice first day back in academic life.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Russian law will allow authorities to spy on all communication in Sochi during the Winter Olympics.

    At least we didn't need a Russian Snowden to let us know about it.

  • Ted S.||

    At least we didn't need a Russian Snowden

    Ahem, that's redundant. At least, ask American politicians; they'll tell you.

  • waffles||

    Secretary of State John Kerry asked Texan officials to delay the execution

    It's like no one listens to this guy. I mean he sure talks a lot, but not a damn word is heeded.

  • ||

    I was reading about that last night. Apparently it's not uncommon for a politician to do this. Dubya ordered a reopening of a case while Cruz was AG back in the day.

    I get they want to make sure laws were followed but in this case, the crime was so cold-blooded I say fry motherfucker.

  • Drake||

    I find myself staring and wondering what the fuck his face is made out of instead of listening to his words.

  • ||

    It gets longer and longer. It's Gravity Chin.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    The New England Patriots' helmet logo is a pretty close approximation of his face.

  • Aloysious||

    Ignoring John F'ing Kerry isn't a bad thing. I wouldn't listen to him either.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Virginia’s attorney general has said that state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional and that he will not defend it in federal lawsuits.

    Anything else unconstitutional in Virginny you want to address?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Lot's of stuff. What you got in mind?

  • db||

    Maybe he should take a look at some of the gun laws...

  • sarcasmic||

    Introducing 'Monster Porn': Rampant plants, sex-crazed aliens and randy MERMEN are the stars of bizarre new erotic fiction genre

    Monster porn spans everything from aliens to trolls and plants
    The genre sees protagonists frolicking with mythical creatures
    Strictly 'adults only', the books are available to download to your Kindle


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem.....genre.html

    Mated to the Kraken, by Trina Rossi, is one of the growing number of monster erotica titles on the market


    "Release the Kraken" takes on a whole new meaning...

  • Raven Nation||

    ""Release the Kraken" takes on a whole new meaning..."

    I am SO glad I had already swallowed my coffee when I read that.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    Warty Hugeman laughs at these feeble efforts.

  • sarcasmic||

    I wonder if our bearded librarian is getting in on the action.

  • SugarFree||

    I'm trying. I've run out of synonyms for traumatic anal leakage.

  • sarcasmic||

    Hershey's squirt? No. Too tame.

    Salad shooter? That only applies to vegetarians.

    I guess I'm no help.

  • ||

    Sug, the current top items on Goodreads for this category are all bullshit like, "The Horny [x]." You could fucking clean up.

    But I'm not sure they want to read about the traumatic leakage, now you mention it.

  • Ted S.||

    We should have a contest to see who can write the best bodice-ripper involving Nicole.

  • SugarFree||

    And all of her dialogue is in broken French.

    "Grenouille de l'air fétide!" Nicole exclaimed, clutching at her bare breasts as the ragged rags were torn from her body.

    "Payer pour ce je vais faire!" she growled as her full nakedness was naked for everyone to nakedly stare at.

    "Spare us your laughable threats, Ms. Diamond," the commander of the guard said haughtily.
  • ||

    That was good. Would read again.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I've read worse in what was supposed to be serious literature. I will never accept book recommendations from a certain person again.

  • Entropy Void||

    Santorum!

  • Brett L||

    Seriously, I'm developing a pseudonym, eating a shitton of caffeine pills, and getting my 2nd income stream up and running.

  • db||

    You may have inadvertently solved SF's synonym problem there.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Don't cry for me, Argentina

    Carnivorous fish injure 10 Argentine river bathers in area where 70 were wounded last month

    The attacks took place in the Parana River in Rosario some 300 kilometres (186 miles) northeast of Buenos Aires. Seventy people who were cooling off from high temperatures were also injured there in late December by the same piranha-like fish. They included seven children who lost parts of their fingers or toes.

    The latest attack by the "palometas" was confirmed Saturday. They've been described by the local director of lifeguards as "a type of piranha, big, voracious and with sharp teeth that can really bite."
  • Fluffy||

    You see?

    This is how I know I'm a crazy overprotective American helicopter parent.

    Because if I read a story about piranha attacking 70 people somewhere, I wouldn't take my kid there to go swimming a week later.

    "Where are we going today, dad?"

    "Piranha Bay, son. Piranha Bay. Bring a cooler so we have something to carry your fingers home in."

  • Brett L||

    Eh. The Florida version would look like:
    "are you going swimming in that spring? The one where a gator ate a dog last month?"

    Me: "Oh, come on, my kid is way bigger than a small dog."

  • Marshall Gill||

    This is how I know I'm a crazy overprotective American helicopter parent.

    Because if I read a story about piranha attacking 70 people somewhere, I wouldn't take my kid there to go swimming a week later

    Just make sure they wear a helmet.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    "Piranha Bay, son. Piranha Bay. Bring a cooler so we have something to carry your fingers home in."

    I'm more the type to tell the kids not to go into the water until they pop off a few quarter sticks of dynamite first. Lunch and recreation, all in one.

  • ||

    Time to call in the River Monsters guy.

  • Apple||

    Hammerhead Bay and Gator Lake were closed for the weekend. People gotta swim somewhere.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    How difficult is it to throw some dynamite in before you take a dip.

  • DontShootMe||

    They did that. Oh, you have to light the fuse first. Oops.

  • BardMetal||

    I didn't realize the guy was Polish.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    How difficult is it to throw some dynamite in before you take a dip.

    You beat me to it by 20 minutes.
    Sigh.
    Swim like a hunter-gatherer, baby!

  • ||

    Gamboling in the river!

  • Snark Plissken||

    The latest attack by the "palometas" was confirmed Saturday.

    At least it wasn't candiru.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Texas executed a Mexican national yesterday despite the Mexican government saying that the execution would violate international law.

    International law? Texas don't need no steenking international law.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    This is easy to remedy. Put up a sign at the border that says, "Welcome to America. Should you murder someone while you're here, you DO NOT have 'consular rights.' Comprende?"

    This sign should be in nine languages, so no one gets their feelings hurt.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No one ever commits a crime thinking they'll get caught. Except Edward Snowden.

  • db||

    It will when it secedes. Oh right, so it never will.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Is there some sort of video autoplay bullshit running on the main HnR page?

  • sarcasmic||

    Canadian reporter, 25, drove 500 miles to Washington state and 'threatened to kill her hockey player boyfriend, 19, after finding out he'd cheated on her'

    Police say freelance sports writer Tieja MacLaughlin drove from British Columbia to Kennewick, Washington, to confront Tri-City Americans forward Jackson Playfair
    Playfair's father is former NHL coach Jim Playfair, and his uncle is ex-Buffalo Sabres player Larry Playfair
    MacLaughlin allegedly told the 19-year-old over the phone 'he would be dead by the end of the night'


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....thful.html
    What's a 25yr old... never mind.

  • waffles||

    Not hot enough to deal with that much crazy. Confirmation bias, or can you really see the crazy in those pics? There's definitely a type.

  • ||

    Yeah, but there's no sex like crazy girl sex.

  • ||

    "Fuck me in my goalie pads! Yeah, that's it! Fuck me real good!"

  • Brett L||

    Ugh. Have you ever found any goalie pads used more than once that don't smell like a dead rat under a pile of locker room towels?

  • SugarFree||

    "What's your point?" asked the murderous blond.

  • Brett L||

    You know, at 19, I guess I would have shrugged and gotten on with it.

  • ||

    Nothing a little maple syrup can't fix.

  • Ted S.||

    For some reason, I'm reminded of Marty Brodeur sleeping with his sister-in-law.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Yeah, but there's no sex like crazy girl sex.

    Guilty religious girl sex. There's no emotions quite like conflicting emotions.
    Come to think of it, maybe it's kind of the same thing as crazy girl sex.

  • Virginian||

    Haha oh yes.

  • mr simple||

    She looks older than 25. I guess crazy doesn't age well.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Having dated 'crazy' early on, and seen some friends addicted to them, the fact of the matter is that most of these chicks are simply spoiled rotten by Daddy and subsequent men. they've had their petulant temper tantrums repeatedly rewarded until they are way out of control and the inevitable crash, say in their early 30s happens.

  • Zeb||

    The forced smiles make her look a bit deranged, but she hasn't really got the crazy eyes.

  • ||

    She has to be a relative of a Beachcomber.

  • Ted S.||

    Did Mike Danton have anything to do with this? Or Alannis Morrisette?

  • Brett L||

    This young man now has an excellent point of reference for his hot-crazy line.

  • ||

    No joke yet about the dude's name? I AM DISAPPOINT.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Frankly I didn't even read his name.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    From her Twitter page: “All women are crazy you just have to find the one that's your kinda crazy."

    Red flag!

  • ||

    At least she's honest.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Don't stick it in anything crazier than you.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Ron Paul: Warfare, Welfare, and Wonder Woman: How Congress Spends Your Money

    Supporters of warfare, welfare, and Wonder Woman cheered last week as Congress passed a one trillion dollar “omnibus” appropriation bill. This legislation funds the operations of government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Wonder Woman fans can cheer that buried in the bill was a $10,000 grant for a theater program to explore the comic book heroine.

    That is just one of the many outrageous projects buried in this 1,582-page bill. The legislation gives the Department of Education more money to continue nationalizing education via “common core.” Also, despite new evidence of Obamacare’s failure emerging on an almost daily basis, the Omnibus bill does nothing to roll back this disastrous law.
  • Doctor Whom||

    There is nothing left to cut. We are one dime in the budget away from becoming Somalia.

  • sarcasmic||

    Want to lose weight? Try turning your heating down: Being cold is a 'cheap way to get slim'

    Warm homes and offices may be contributing to the obesity epidemic
    Being in a colder environment increases the number of calories burned
    People become accustomed to colder temperatures over time


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/hea.....-slim.html
    Global warming is causing obesity! There is nothing that cannot be blamed on global warming!

  • Raven Nation||

  • sarcasmic||

    Wow.

  • ||

    "women cheat on vacation" is on that list.

  • RBS||

    So is "Shrimp sex problems."

  • ||

    I had no idea these things were related.

  • ||

    How about a complete list of excessive government intervention and regulation?

  • CatoTheElder||

    The Internet isn't big enough to contain that list.

    But here's of list of problems not caused by government intervention and regulation:

  • db||

    You could start with The Federal Register.

  • Drake||

    I noticed that actual warmer weather isn't on the list.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I forgot to look. Maybe it's under "Beach Days?"

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Oh,thank you, Raven Nation! I had forgotten about John Brignell.

  • Raven Nation||

    I live to serve the HnR commentariat (well, most of them).

  • ||

    Wow, the Mail is getting into thinspo now. Pro-ana people have been telling you to turn down your heat for years. Nothing tastes as good as chattering teeth feel!

    (My understanding was that this was not actually a terribly effective way to lose weight, but I could be wrong.)

  • John||

    It is not. You don't burn that many calories in even 50 degree cold. And also, people just wear warm clothes which defeats the purpose.

    If you want to loose weight via the cold, spend a bunch of time outside in really cold weather mountaineering or something. But frostbite and death by avalanche is a hell of a risk to take.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    It makes about as much sense as turning up the thermostat to sweat based on the idea that most weight lost is water weight.
    Meaning none, to be clear.

  • Steve G||

    Cold showers...now that's a different story.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    I'm turning my thermostat down to 35 degrees. My family be damned.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Being in a colder environment increases the number of calories burned

    Perhaps they can explain why people tend to eat more when working in a 73-degree office instead of working outside when it's 85. I should be losing weight because I'm in a colder environment, right?

  • Juice||

    Yeah, they have it EXACTLY backwards. When it's cold you get hungrier and tend to consume more calories. You tend to eat more "comfort food." When it's hot you tend to eat less and crave things like fruit more often.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said “more could have been done” to plow the Upper East Side.

    "Call Comrade Plow, that's my name. That name again is Comrade Plow."

  • UnCivilServant||

    I thought he was speaking euphemistically about taxes, not actual snow plows.

  • sarcasmic||

    Glenn Beck regrets playing 'a role in helping tear the country apart' with his Fox News show

    Conservative pundit speaks of his regrets about his eponymous show that last aired on Fox in 2011
    Said that he 'made an awful lot of mistakes' and wished he 'could go back and be more uniting in my language'
    'I didn't realize how fragile people were,' he said


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....-show.html
    He gives himself too much credit.

  • Ted S.||

    This is appropriate, I think.

  • ||

  • ||

    Oh hai Mark

  • ||

    I DID NAHT

  • Brett L||

    "I'm sorry I'm so important"

    What's the old country song?
    Oh lord its hard to be humble
    When you're perfect in every way

  • Marshall Gill||

    I tried to watch Beck's show a couple of times. Both times, in less than two minutes of watching (not necessarily at the beginning) he was crying. I never understood a single thing he said afterward because of my rage at a grown man crying like a baby on national TV.

  • sarcasmic||

    For VERY close friends: Gents' toilet-made-for-two causes a stink at macho Putin's Winter Olympic Village

    BBC journalist tweeted a picture of the toilet cubicle at the Olympic village
    It shows two toilets situated side-by-side in the same cubicle
    The picture quickly went viral and was the butt of online jokes


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....itter.html
    Butt? Get it? Butt?

  • Drake||

    If that upsets people, an image of a Parris Island head would cause heart attacks.

  • ||

    Oh, those were awful . . .

  • ||

    Man buys gun in Virginia, sells gun to uncle in Pennsylvania, feds seek to prosecute, despite fact that the uncle is in no way prohibited from owning a gun:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....challenge/

  • BardMetal||

    How did the feds or anyone else for that matter even find out about this?

  • ||

    That's what I was wondering too.

  • Drake||

    He actually filed the transfer papers - apparently too soon after the purchase.

  • BardMetal||

    Transfer papers? for a private sell? Why bother?

  • Virginian||

    People don't know when to follow the law and when to keep their mouths shut.

    When I delivered pizza, there was one driver who constantly bitched about not making as much. Because he reported all his tips, not just the credit card ones.

    Cash is untraceable you ninny. Don't help the bastards steal from you.

  • ||

    Should be an interesting opinion to read.

  • Robert||

    AFAICT the form is asking whether the purchaser is acting as someone else's agent or for hirself. It's just to assign legal responsibility, such as where a firm has an employee purchase guns for the business. It does not appear to cover cases where someone buys an item in contemplation of selling or otherwise xferring it to someone else, because the buyer is still the buyer. So ATF is misinterpreting their own language, regardless of whether it's authorized by statute.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...the government should “purge the database of telephone records that have been collected and stored during the program's operation.”

    Uh, before it can be used as evidence of the aforementioned illegal activity?

  • Lord Humungus||

    Meanwhile in Australia:

    Sloth-moth pact explains risky toilet trek

    SLOTHS take their time over everything, including going to the toilet - something they do about once a week. Now, US biologists have found out why three-toed-sloths go to the trouble of descending the tree to defecate, unlike their two-toed cousins, who do it from the safety of the branches.

    ...snip...

    When the sloths reach the ground, female moths dismount to lay their eggs. The eggs hatch in sloth dung and the larvae develop there, flying back to the tree tops as adults to reoccupy their sloth fur homes.

    The sloths tolerate this because the moths act as “portals” for nutrients which encourage algae to grow in their fur. “Sloths consume these algae gardens … to augment their limited diet,” says the report in the journal
  • ||

    Is this about left-wing proggies?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Suddenly, I'm wondering. Will a sloth on methamphetamines make it up to Loris speed?

  • ||

    I just had some maple syrup on my frittata and hash browns.

  • Jordan||

    Russian law will allow authorities to spy on all communication in Sochi during the Winter Olympics.

    Hey look, the Russian government is more transparent than our own. The list of human rights violations that the U.S. can criticize other countries for without looking like goddamn hypocrites is growing mighty thin.

  • BardMetal||

    No matter what the government does the average American will still think the U.S. is a shining beacon of liberty, and every other country is a 3rd world dictatorship where government officials throw their citizens into huge piles of dung.

  • Doctor Whom||

    That, and when our government (blessed be it forever) does it, it's only to other people who deserve it, and only when strictly necessary to protect the children.

  • ||

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_.....-practices

    Minimum wage fight comes to Oakland with tits.

  • waffles||

    1250 per season? Being a Raiders cheerleader is almost volunteer work. The problem is that there are many women eager to do this job. It's not simple exploitation but also supply/demand.

  • Brett L||

    Some women are just unqualified at any price.

  • Virginian||

    Yeah being a Cowboys cheerleader in particular is just a great way to snag yourself a Texas oil tycoon sugar daddy/husband.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    I clicked on the link and there were no cheerleaders. Just a guy in a suit talking with a man on the phone who sounded like he had about 48 hours to live.

    Fail.

  • Lord Humungus||

    EU parliamentary election tops Europe concerns for CEOs in Davos

    The risk of a lurch to the right in May's European parliamentary election is vexing top global chief executives, who worry that the vote will make the bloc harder to govern just as they want it to reform.

    High unemployment, austerity fatigue and still anaemic growth offer the perfect backdrop for fringe parties to prosper at the election.

    Some pundits predict a group of anti-euro parties including the National Front in France, Britain's UKIP, Syriza in Greece and the Dutch Freedom Party could capture 20 percent or more of the seats.
  • DJF||

    “””fringe parties to prosper at the election””

    Yep, some crazies might get elected that think that widely different economies under different budgets can have the same currency.

    Or that think that when some countries have massive debts the thing to do is to kick the can down the road while adding massive interests costs.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Obama goal for quick revamp of NSA program may be unworkable, some U.S. officials fear

    Telephone companies have said they do not want to be responsible for the database, and no one has come up with a workable idea for how a third party could hold the records.

    “The idea that this complicated problem will be solved in the next two months is very unlikely, if not impossible,” said one official with knowledge of the discussions. “It is not at all inconceivable that the bulk collection program will stay the same, with the records held by the government until 2015,” when the law that authorizes the bulk collection is set to expire.
  • mr simple||

    That's too bad. Although, if I could suggest an alternative approach, it would probably be really easy to just fire a bunch of people and completely halt the program. It might take a while to delete all of that information, wipe the drive and have them melted down, but I think the people could live with that.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Motorist charged for splashing schoolchildren

    A British motorist accused of soaking a group of schoolchildren and their parents by driving through a puddle is facing a careless driving charge, police said.

    Essex police said an officer driving in Colchester, England, witnessed the car in front of him drive quickly through a puddle, splashing a group of young children and their parents on their way to the nearby St. George's Junior School, the Mirror reported Wednesday.

    Police Constable Mark Hercules, the officer who witnessed the splashing, said he pulled over the 22-year-old driver.
  • Brett L||

    Ha Ha

  • mr simple||

    What a pansy country. I can't believe they once ruled half the world.

  • John||

    No kidding. All the brave men really must have died in Flanders and Normandy.

  • CatoTheElder||

    All of the brave men and beautiful English women emigrated to the colonies. Now all they have are pansies, an inbred and daft royalty, football hooligans, and Pakistani extremists. Well, there are a few exceptions, but there's really no hope for the pome bastards.

  • John||

    The Royals killed themselves off during the War of the Roses and the few that were left the Tudor thugs murdered. The Royal Family has been since they brought the Germans in, a family that was allowed to stay because they were reliably Protestant and too stupid to cause much trouble.

    The rest of the natural meritocracy either immigrated or died in the two World Wars.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    A little while ago, the Bloombergers were interviewing some former teevee bigwig. When the topic of the Olympics came up, he said something which uncoiled itself in my ear as, "Totalitarian countries make the best Olympic venues, because totalitarianism is what the IOC is all about."

  • Lord Humungus||

    Confusing graph here: Number of uninsureds who say they have insurance drops.

    Gallup

  • Lord Humungus||

    or don't. Gallup site makes it more clear.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Three of the five members of a government privacy board reportedly think that the NSA’s collection of telephone metadata is illegal and have said that the government should “purge the database of telephone records that have been collected and stored during the program's operation.”

    Then they all had a good laugh, and went home and got drunk.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Warren Buffett might be the epitome of the cautious investor, but he's betting $1 billion on this year's NCAA tournament.

    Quicken Loans is offering a $1 billion prize to the basketball fan who submits the perfect NCAA bracket for this year's tournament. And the prize, if there is one awarded, will be paid out by Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500).

    The payment would be doled out over 40 years in annual payments of $25 million, or a lump-sum payment of $500 million. If there is more than one perfect bracket submitted, the winning entries will split the money.

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/2....._companies

  • waffles||

    And NPR said they would give a trillion dollars to the first person to dance Gangnam Style on Jupiter.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Why do you doubt it? All Quicken (Intuit Corp) did was lay off most the risk to BH.

    Maybe a $50 million policy or something similar. That would be a one-off actuarial guess.

  • waffles||

    I don't doubt it. I'm just stating that NPR made a competing announcement in response.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Inuit sold off Quicken Loans over ten years ago.

  • Entropy Void||

    Never knew the Eskimos owned Quicken ... learn sumpin' new every day

  • Don Mynack||

    Given that there are nine quintillion possibile outcomes for this, I'm not suprised that not a single person will win, unless they are allowed to enter nine quintillion brackets.

    Math behind that number here: http://mathforum.org/library/d.....56223.html

  • Lord Humungus||

    Jeezus!

    ‘Blow Torch Rapist’ Strikes Again In Detroit

    The latest attack occurred just before 7 a.m. Wednesday in a largely abandoned neighborhood near Plymouth and Meyers roads the city’s west side.

    A 23-year-old woman told police she was leaving a gas station when a man came behind her and put a gun to her head. The woman said her attacker forced her into a car, ripped off her clothes and began burning her face with a blow torch.

    Police say the victim stabbed the man in the eye with a screwdriver and was able to get away and call for help. She’s currently hospitalized in stable condition.
  • WTF||

    It's fortunate she didn't have a gun, or statistically she would have been in greater danger of death and injury.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Are concealed screwdrivers legal in Detroit?

  • ||

    Why didn't she call the police?? Now a man has been maimed.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Officials with California's health insurance exchange Tuesday said about 625,000 people have signed up for an individual or family policy under the federal health care reforms, but enrollments for Latinos and younger people continue to lag expectations.

    An additional 584,000 people who initially sought insurance through the exchange were determined to be likely eligible for Medi-Cal, California's version of Medicaid. The state-federal program provides health insurance for the poor.

    Lee said about three-quarters of consumers who had selected a plan have paid their first month's premium.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/.....45767.html

  • Fluffy||

    So that only leaves them around 4.3 million people in the hole from the number of people who lost their insurance due to the ACA.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I've never seen that 5 million national number sourced. I suspect it is made up by someone like Glenn Beck.

    I know the CBO used it as a worst case scenario and then found only 11,000 of those could not replace their lost insurance with something similar at a lower cost.

  • Drake||

    I've never seen any of it sourced. Have those 625,000 actually made a payment or just made it through a website?

    And great news - Medicare is going to bankrupt us before Social Security, yeah!

  • califernian||

    Who is this "us" you speak of? The government finances are not mine.

  • ||

    The government finances are not mine.

    To the extent you keep all your assets in any currency besides USD, perhaps.

  • Fluffy||

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.c.....ellations/

    Covered California admits to 1.1 million.

    But by the way the exchange is set up, they would only know about policies cancelled where the policyholder was directed to an ACA-compliant policy that could be obtained on the exchange.

    Since Aetna and UnitedHealthcare abandoned California outright rather than participate in the exchange, the 1.1 million number would not include their members.

    So if 1.1 million people lose their insurance and 625k people sign up for insurance...Guess what? It's not a "success" number for you to trumpet.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "but enrollments for...younger people continue to lag expectations."

    To make young people pay into the system to pay for all the freeloaders, wasn't that the whole point of the individual mandate?

    So, how's that gonna work if they aren't signing up in sufficient numbers?

    "625,000 people have signed up for an individual or family policy under the federal health care reforms....

    An additional 584,000 people who initially sought insurance through the exchange were determined to be likely eligible for Medi-Cal"

    So, how many of those 625,000 already had insurance--now they're just getting subsidized? How many of them lost their insurance because of ObamaCare?

    And is loading 584,000 new Medicaid recipients into the system really a success?

    Private pay patients being billed for all the money providers lose on Medicaid patients is the biggest reason why insurance rates are so high and why so many people were priced out of the insurance market--how is adding 584,000 new Medicaid patients going to help that situation?

    And please don't say they're going to make up for it by enticing healthy young people to buy insurance they don't need; your own link confirms that strategy is failing miserably.

  • Jordan||

    So, how many of those 625,000 already had insurance--now they're just getting subsidized? How many of them lost their insurance because of ObamaCare?

    Most of them, if California is in line with the rest of the country.

  • CatoTheElder||

    And is loading 584,000 new Medicaid recipients into the system really a success?

    Half-a-million grateful Democrat voters with lifetime dependency upon government?

    Yes, this is an unqualified success in 21st Century Obama America. Couple this with the growth in food stamp recipients and unemployment insurance recipients, and you have the growing realization of the Cloward–Piven strategy.

  • Don Mynack||

    The real problem comes when private insurers drop out of this due to non-payment from the gov't, which still has not written the backend functionality to actually pay them.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm looking forward to seeing the insurers report for Q1 2014.

    Should be really interesting.

  • Lord Humungus||

    some Youtube videos out there too:

    Ukraine protest movement: At least 4 killed in clashes with police

    At least four people have been shot dead and hundreds injured as demonstrators clash with police over new laws limiting the right to protest in Ukraine, the head of the protest movement's volunteer medical service, Oleg Musiy, told CNN on Wednesday.

    Ukraine's Interior Ministry earlier said it was investigating a death, the circumstances of which are not clear. Local media reports suggest the man may have fallen from a statue or monument.

    In a statement Wednesday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf condemned the growing violence, particularly against journalists and peaceful protesters.
  • Lord Humungus||

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said on Thursday that government legal cases, including those over mortgage securities the company settled for more than $13 billion, were "unfair".

    JPMorgan agreed last year to pay $13 billion to settle multiple government claims over dealings in mortgage securities at JPMorgan and at two banks it took over during the crisis, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/.....32191.html

    Dimon is right. It was WaMu and the like that sold the shitty non-conforming loans to the GSE's. But when you buy them you buy their legal obligations too.

  • ||

    But when you buy them you buy their legal obligations too.

    Of course, JP Morgan was chomping at the bit to get their hands on those assets, as was every other large national bank. It's not like the government put any pressure on them.

    And besides, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

  • Matrix||

    And because you give a shit... Justin Bieber was arrested today

    Is it wrong to hope for the death penalty?

  • Ken Shultz||

    But what he arrest for his music?

    I'm a pretty hardcore libertarian, but even I have my limits, and Justin Bieber has made a habit of exceeding them.

  • Zeb||

    I have a suggestion for you. Stop listening to his music.

  • ||

    This is the sole exception to standard libertarian doctrine where the social costs and externalities are simply too great.

  • SugarFree||

    Just deport him. Obama likes doing that anyway, right?

  • Matrix||

    Blame Canada!

  • SugarFree||

    I do. Seriously, Canada... Why you gotta do us like this, girl?

  • ||

    In retaliation for Housewives of Beverley Hills.

  • Loki||

    I have to wonder if Justin Bieber is just Canada's revenge for all the jokes that Americans have made about them over the years.

    Their first attempt at a weapon of mass annoyance was of course Bryan Adams, but that only met with moderate success. Celine Dion was a modest improvement, and now Bieber is the pinnacle of their weaponized annoyance program.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Don't forget Chilliwack, April Wine and Triumph. They've been inflicting bad music on us for a while.

  • ||

    Don't forget Alanis Morissette and Tom Green's rap career.

  • db||

    + "The leathery, mongoose-like beauty of Celine Dion..."

  • WTF||

    Just deport him. Obama likes doing that anyway, right?

    If by "deport" you mean "drone with a Hellfire missle", then, yeah.

  • John||

    There are race tracks all over America that have track days for rich guys to take their sports cars out and run them. It takes a real retard to get into street racing. If you or your opponent crash and kill someone or themselves, you are going down for at best vehicular homicide and maybe felony murder.

    What a retard.

  • ||

    It's somewhat popular around here. The roads are in good shape, are wide and straight and it gets quiet at night. The quiet occasionally being broken by somebody going 2fast2furious into a brick wall. Pretty sure the not-too-far away racetrack isn't open in the dead of night, though.

  • John||

    I can see why some dumb kid with no money would do it. But for someone with money to do it is completely stupid. That is what tracks are for. And crashing on a track usually means going off into the grass not hitting a telephone pole. Not worth the risk.

  • Loki||

    Actually, it's not really that outrageously expensive in some places. Here's some info for High Planes Raceway open lapping days. It's a track out east here in CO that's not too far from Denver. In the summer time it's $100 for a half day, $160 for a full day and $110 for a day during the winter. Add $10 if you don't register and pay in advance.

    Not that bad for a full day of track lapping. Although they usually tend to frown on people doing actual wheel to wheel racing, which I think would be more the allure to street racing. That and the "thrill" of doing something illegal and dangerous and getting away with it (until you do get caught).

  • John||

    There is a track up outside Charlestown WV about an hour from me where for $250 you get three 20 minute sessions spread throughout an entire track day. You get a professional driver to ride with you and critique your driving skills.

    You are right. It is not t hat expansive. The expensive part is the tires and brake pads you will run through.

  • John||

    I think it is common a lot of places. There is a guy who works in my building who has a 911 Turbo as a daily driver. He says kids come out of the woodwork all of the time wanting to race him at stop lights.

  • Lord Humungus||

    One of the reasons I got rid of my modifed/upgraded '86 SS. I got sick of kids in Accords with aftermarket wings tailgating me.

    The sleeper is now more my taste. I always loved unleashing the Roadmaster LT1 on the unsuspecting. Of course these days a 0-60 of 6.8/quarter of 14.8 isn't what it used to be. There are some damn fast cars out there for not much money. And even the luxury car makers are in the horsepower wars.

  • John||

    I have a friend from high school who has a C63 AMG. It looks like an innocent Mercedes coupe if you don't notice the badgeing or know what it means. Under the hood it has a normally aspirated 6.3 liter V8 putting out over 500 horsepower. Does zero to sixty in around four seconds. He is not a street racer. But if he was he would give the Yabos in Accords quite a shock.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Yeah, I used to want to build a street terror with my SS - 370hp 355 with a 150 shot of spray...

    I got the engine and transmission done... but after driving it I realized that throwing a much more powerful engine in a car originally design around a 180hp 305 slug wasn't the smartest thing in the world. Suddenly the brakes and steering weren't up to snuff for the rest of the car. And a 7.5" rear that can't take the torque... so, even before a little N20, I would ideally have to throw a shit load more cash into the project. And for a car that could only be driven for half the year (not a winter car). So on the chopping block it went... lost a few thousand bucks on that project but it was a good learning experience.

  • John||

    I have an old car and have occasionally thought about hot rodding it. I have always decided against it because new cars are so much faster and better built there is no point. Really old cars are beautiful to look at and talk about and cruise around in, but they are more museum pieces than anything else.

    If you want a street monster, just go buy a late model used car. Go on autotrader and you can find low mileage Mercedes SLK 500s that like 450+ horsepower tire shredding monsters for 30 or 40K, no assembly required.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Exactly...

    it is possible to make a real good hot rod that will outperform the latest iron, but my heart (and wallet) just isn't in it anymore.

  • Brett L||

    Mitsubishi Outlander is a Lancer with a SUV body. I've always wanted to build a rally sleeper into one. Although I think the turbos would give it away.

  • Zeb||

    What a retard.

    He's 19 and rich for no good reason. What did you expect?

  • Brett L||

    This is Florida. I'm kind of hoping for Cool Hand Luke. I figure by week three he'll be the simple guy.

  • John||

    Jim Morrison fled to Paris to avoid jail in Florida. Could we be so lucky with Beiber?

  • Loki||

    I'll just leave this here.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Here's a picture of it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Three of the five members of a government privacy board reportedly think that the NSA’s collection of telephone metadata is illegal".

    If 99 out of 100 privacy board experts said that what the NSA was doing was perfectly legal and nine out of nine Supreme Court justices agreed with them, it would still be a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment anyway.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, but Congress made it legal in 2008.

    There should be a name for those three hideous laws combined passed last decade.

    (The PATRIOT Act, Protect America Act, and the FISA retroactive immunity act \, IIRC)

  • John||

    So that totally absolves the Black Jesus of any responsibility. If its legal he has to do it, right?

  • Jordan||

    Yes, but Congress made it legal in 2008.

    No, they didn't. Passing a law that says it's legal to violate the Constitution does not make it legal.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Thank you, Jordan.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    A law can be legal and unconstitutional at the same time. Until the SCOTUS rules it so, that is.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Did you read what I wrote?

    I said it was a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment.

    You're admitting the law violates the Fourth Amendment out of one side of your mouth, are you're saying the law doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment out of the other?

    No one said the law wasn't a law.

    Responding to the voices of straw men in your head or moving the goal posts around, take you're pick; but it's better to be wrong than ridiculous.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Yes, but Congress made it legal in 2008.

    Bullshit.

  • Lady Bertrum||

  • Lady Bertrum||

    As such, political organizations are slow to respond to developments and often find themselves flailing gracelessly in the effort to accommodate trends that actors in the more responsive private sector are quick to embrace. One recent and unavoidable trend is the speed with which libertarianism is catching on. Polling has indicated that voters, particularly the youngest American voters, are adopting a libertarian philosophy which rejects the paternalism displayed by members of both parties and instead places its faith in the ability of the individual to best manage their affairs.
  • waffles||

    I remain incredulous.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    When they start voting in libertarian's I'll believe it. Until then, I have little faith that most of these youths want libertarian policy on some things they like but socialist "solutions" for the majority of issues.

  • ||

    Yeah, if there's one lesson I've taken to heart more than ever as of late, it's that talk is fucking cheap.

  • mr simple||

    Hey, it's our old friend:

    Eric Dondero Stacy Garvey • 2 hours ago −
    Balko is a left-libertarian, not a full-rounded libertarian. You cannot call yourself a real libertarian if you're soft on Islamism, like Balko.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    DONDEROOOOOOOOOO!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I just wish that Sf and he would meet in person and I would get to watch.

    It would be priceless.

  • SugarFree||

    Flag his comment. I did and it felt good.

  • RBS||

    I had almost forgotten about that guy.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, how dare a journalist who specializes in domestic criminal justice issues not spend more of his time ranting about Mooslims?

  • ||

    All domestic Mooslims are criminals, and they are never brought to justice.

    Duh.

  • Zeb||

    Oh right. I forgot that we are on the verge of having Sharia universally applied in the US.

  • ||

    No mention of our Koch-krazy nut-puncher Balko?

  • nipplemancer||

    Eric Dondero Stacy Garvey • 2 hours ago −
    Balko is a left-libertarian, not a full-rounded libertarian. You cannot call yourself a real libertarian if you're soft on Islamism, like Balko.

    DONDEROOOOOOOOOO

  • The Late P Brooks||

    But when you buy them you buy their legal obligations too.

    And the next time the government comes to you, asking for a helping hand, what should you say?

  • Drake||

    He can't talk with his mouth that full.

  • Dave Krueger||

    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee might be considering a 2016 presidential run.

    The march of the clowns. Is Trump going to run, too? I hope Jeb Bush enters the race. He comes from a whole family of clowns. If republicans had any sense of shame, they would have dissolved the party after their last presidential embarrassment.

  • Don Mynack||

    Please let this happen. The implosion of the Republican party can't happen soon enough, and a so-con finally doing them in will be even sweeter.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Police say the victim stabbed the man in the eye with a screwdriver and was able to get away and call for help. She’s currently hospitalized in stable condition.

    Too bad she wasn't able *shoot* him in the eye, douse him with gasoline, and set him on fire.

  • John||

    If she would have had a gun, she would have been in more danger. And besides, rape is an instant, murder is forever.

    Signed/

    Gun control activist.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    No. Here's the argument of a Gun Control Activist:

    He would have taken the gun away from her and killed her with it after torturing and raping her. Better she not fight him, behave passively, and pray he doesn't kill her.

    Or SUBMIT!

  • John||

    She should have just calmly taken it and called the police.

    Good point Lady Bertrum.

  • ||

    Rapists are exactly like grizzly bears. When they're attacking you, play dead and try not to scream too much.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I suppose you say that to all your victims.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The march of the clowns.

    This is why I believe the losing candidate should be executed as part of the inauguration festivities.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Here's where we part ways, Brooks. I say executed the winners, like the Mayans did their pok ta pok teams. (I imagine there were a lot of 0-0 ties.)

  • Snark Plissken||

    So basically like this, except the winning politician's head gets stuck on a pike instead of the winning horses?

    Two-horse chariot races (bigae) were held in the Campus Martius, the area of Rome named for Mars, after which the right-hand horse of the winning team was transfixed by a spear, then sacrificed. The horse's head (caput) and tail (cauda) were cut off and used separately in the two subsequent parts of the ceremonies: two neighborhoods staged a fight for the right to display the head, and the freshly bloodied cauda was carried to the Regia for sprinkling the sacred hearth of Rome.
  • ||

    Paging Mr. Friedman

    How flawed U.S. politics still trump China model
    Opinion: Even imperfect democracy better than centrally planned system

    In the U.S. capital, legislators have defied expectations and approved the first fiscal-year spending bill since 2009. Of course, it is the imperative of political survival in an election year that has produced this outbreak of bipartisanship, not altruism. But that’s the point. The power of the ballot box proves that, in the end, U.S. democracy eventually finds a solution.

    In China, by contrast, the shortcomings of a centrally planned system are increasingly evident. A top-down economic model of hyper-fast growth, one founded on amped-up investment and cheap credit, has trapped its autocratic leaders in a tough bind. To maintain China’s long-term development, they must liberalize their economy and clean up flawed data that have disguised a dangerous mountain of debt. But those same actions could precipitate a sharp economic slowdown, one that could stir unrest and remove the Communist Party’s central claim to political legitimacy.

    The contrast suggests that it is time to dispense with the flawed notion — popularized in the wake of the crisis by the likes of Eurasia’s Ian Bremmer — that Chinese-style state capitalism will prove too powerful a competitor for the West’s market democracies.
  • John||

    Wasn't there news of some giant default that is about to happen in China this week? As bad as our mismanaged and artificial bubble economy is, China's is much much worse.

  • CatoTheElder||

    China has some really screwed up practices with respect to internal credit and capital allocation among PLA and other CCP enterprises, and "state capitalism" is an oxymoron. No doubt it has squandered hundreds of billions of RMB on real estate development. A crisis is certainly brewing because the loans for much of that development are worth far less than par.

    However, at least China still makes things that people want and can afford, and it runs a trade surplus that is not bogus, has enormous foreign exchange reserves (albeit in USD) that are not bogus, and does not have trillions of dollars of obligations to foreigners.

  • John||

    However, at least China still makes things that people want and can afford, and it runs a trade surplus that is not bogus

    Trade surpluses can be just as bad as trade deficits and even worse in some cases. China has done exactly what Japan did. They have artificially depressed their currency to give them an advantage in international trade. The problem with doing that is that you screw your own people and instead of building a healthy economy with internal demand, you over build in areas for export. Eventually that catches up with you. You can't artificially depress your currency forever. Other nations revolt against it and your accumulation of foreign capital drives it up if nothing else. And when your currency goes back to its natural value, your economy crashes as you have no domestic demand to make up for your lost exports.

    Trade is a two way street. Sure, China is collecting currency in exchange for those goods it exports. But it is also send out that wealth and goods in exchange for that currency. Trade only helps you if it is a beneficial trade. If all you do is export, eventually that capital you get in return does you less good than the goods you send out.

    Basically, you can't export your way to long term prosperity. You only get that when you develop a strong internal demand and consumer economy.

  • Dave Krueger||

    Russian law will allow authorities to spy on all communication in Sochi during the Winter Olympics.

    If the Olympics were in the U.S., the "authorities" would also spy on all communications and it wouldn't even matter what the law says. In fact, that's true even though the Olympics aren't being held in the U.S.

  • John||

    Not only that, the US would listen and then never act on it, unless they stumbled on some child porn case that the NSA drones found interesting. The Russians may also be listening, but they at least might do something with the information. I bet if the Turks call them and say "hey, we think the clown brothers who live in Sochi are dangerous", the Russians would take head. The FBI? Not so much.

  • sarcasmic||

    Sometimes I wonder if our government would intentionally let a terrorist act happen, just so they could use it as an excuse to expand their power.

  • John||

    I don't think they would do that. But you know what they would do? Talk themselves into it not being quite ripe of a threat so they don't have to pass the information to another agency and let that agency get any credit for stopping it.

  • Zeb||

    the Russians would take head

    Well, they certainly wouldn't give head. That would be gay.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    They'd crack down on anyone trying to sell knock off Olympic gear.

    They'd probably hassle anyone who was wearing Google glasses and watching a race too. "Why are you filming the race? Who are you selling the bootleg too?"

    When I was in Seoul 88 before the games there, I bought a hat from the official Olympic store there (prior to the games). Later at another store the proprietor told me I bought a bad knockoff. When I told him that I got it at the official store he asked me if he could look at it. He then took polaroids and notes about the various tags inside of it. I'm guessing that he used them to create a better class of knockoffs himself.

    He gave me a good discount on some nice stuff for letting him take the pics.

  • John||

    Yeah. I forgot about that. Totally. The FBI would miss the tip about the suicide bomber because they were too busy conducting SWAT raids of suspected counterfeit merchandise sellers. That is exactly what would happen.

  • John||

    Putin 2016; We need a police state that works!!

  • ||

    Is last night's Indepedents available online somewhere in its entirety? It's the distant future of the 21st century so I'm somewhat surprised that just clips seem to be available on the Fox site.

  • ||

    I noticed that too.

  • KB Check Release||

    Epi got some love last night on Kennedy yells over everyone show.

    I still like the show and agree that Kmele needs more time to speak, but he needs to get to the point a lot faster. Welch is good at this.

    That is all

  • KMA Too||

    Wondered who was going to bring this up.

    It's good to see you boys and girls get recognition for your smarts.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Cool natural phenomenon alert:

    Now that it is getting light, I can see clouds coming over the ridge above me and flowing downward into the trees. It looks like an overflowing bathtub.

  • John||

    You live in Montana right? Cool shit just happens a lot in the mountains. The mountains really is an amazing place to live.

  • Snark Plissken||

    You get that clear sky, clouds pouring down over the Sandias not infrequently in Albuquerque since clouds tend to pile up on the east side of the mountains. It can look cool as hell.

  • John||

    You live in Albuquerque? My dad just moved there. I love New Mexico. Sometime when I am out there, we should have a reason beer session.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Grew up there. I'm in Prague, but will most likely be there in the summer for a few weeks, let the kid run around, see the parents, etc. So if then, sure.

    Seems like a lot of Reasoners are from NM.

  • John||

    Living in Prague. You have my envy. I love that place.

  • Snark Plissken||

    It's not all sweetness and light, but I can't complain. Do miss the wide open desert, mountains and sunsets of my native soil.

  • John||

    Yeah. America has charms you don't realize until you live abroad and miss them. And also, you better like cold weather if you want to live in Prague.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I had a friend who lived in northern France for a year. He said after a few months he really started to miss Mexican food.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Oh man, I totally miss Mexican food. I manage to get by with jalapenos from Turkey and chili powder sent from NM, but it's not the same.

  • mr simple||

    started to miss Mexican food.

    My wife said the same thing about the time she spent studying in London. She said they found a taqueria, but when the Canadian waiter realized they were Americans he told them they really didn't want to eat there as the food was worse than Taco Bell.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Actually, you'd be surprised. Mostly just hovers around freezing in the winter. The city density adds some heat and snow often doesn't stick. The lack of light is probably the biggest bummer of the winter.

  • Robert||

    Like these bathtubs—fluffy looking—or like plain water overflowing?

  • John||

    There was a very interesting PBS documentary on last week based on the book The Poisoners Handbook. It is the story of the two guys at the New York medical examiners office who in the early 20th Century basically invented forensic pathology. It is a very good book and an interesting PBS doc.

    One of the more interesting bits that comes out is how during prohibition the government poisoned industrial alcohol to keep people from distilling it into drinkable stuff. This resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people who unknowingly drank poisoned alcohol. The better the bootleggers got at distilling it, the more poison the government put in. The chemist who is one of the two subjects of the book called Prohibition America's program of systematic murder. Funny how you never read about that in the high school history books section on Prohibition.

  • Evan from Evansville||

    I loved that book. Very cool stuff therein.

  • ||

    They still poison alcohol. Ethanol is an extremely useful solvent and dirt cheap to make, but they can't risk people drinking untaxed alcohol, can they? So they add ethylene glycol to ethanol and call it denatured alcohol. Several people still die from drinking it every year.

    Note that Vicodin and Percocet are exactly the same thing. They can't have people abusing mostly harmless opiates, can they? So some genius got the genius idea to add acetaminophen so the junkies' livers will fail if they take too many Vicodins.

    These people are monsters.

  • sarcasmic||

    And we need them to protect us from greedy businesses who would sell poison if not for the FDA.

  • ||

    That's what I always tell my mother. Don't worry ma, if anything kills me, it will be the tylenol!

  • ||

    You know to extract the opiates in cold water, right?

  • ||

    No, and that information would have been a lot more useful to me a couple weeks ago...but it's always useful...

  • ||

    Oh. Well, all you do is grind the pills with a mortar and pestle and dissolve them in cold water. The undissolved powder that settles at the bottom of the glass is the tylenol.

    I hope this comes in handy the next time you have to have emergency prolapse-repair surgery.

  • John||

    They really are. There was a scientific American article that instapundit linked to a few days ago talking about how to control the pain killer problem. You see we have to get it to people who are in pain but not let people who just want to take it for fun get them. The whole article operated under the assumption that anyone taking a pill for enjoyment is a monstrous evil that must be stopped. It is a really twisted way to view the world.

    Whenever I have a drug warrior give me the shuck and jive about how addiction hurts so many people around the addict, I always offer my father in law as a counter example. He for whatever his reasons never followed his doctor's instructions and ended up with type II diabetes and is now a physical wreck. If he were a heroin junkie, he wouldn't have caused any more grief to his family. So why is his refusing to stop eating any different than someone else's refusing to stop taking drugs? They never have an answer beyond "but drugs are different".

  • Loki||

    Now that the collective is going to be more responsible for paying his medical bills, they may start to change their tune.

    Unfortunately it will be that "someone should've forced him to stop eating." I foresee a day when they start requireing sodas and fast food burgers to have trace amounts of poison that won't harm you in small amounts, but a Big Gulp or more than two burgers in a 24 hour period will kill you. Afterall, why the fuck not? The people around the compulsive over eater are hurt just as much as the people around the junkie, afterall. Pretty much all the arguments for poisoning pills works for poisoning disfavored foods.

  • John||

    I could totally see them doing that. Once you buy into the idea that the government has the right and or duty to step in and act to prevent someone from doing themselves harm, there is no end to it.

    Criminal law exists to give victims justice not save people from themselves.

  • John||

    It is also funny how they have such a stroke about opiates but then sell Tylenol, which everyone knows is a very easy way to OD and kill yourself, and Iduprophen which will destroy your kidneys if you take it regularly for a few years.

    Most drugs have side effects. There are very few magic cures for things. When you take a medicine most of the time you are choosing the lesser of two evils. They seem to get that when it comes to everything except those medicines that someone might enjoy taking. And we can't have any fun or anyone have any joy in their otherwise dreary life.

  • sarcasmic||

    Drugs are artificial, so the high is not real. It's artificial. Highs are not supposed to be artificial. They're supposed to be real. Like the high you get when you bust down a druggies door, shoot their dog, and then proceed to destroy everything in the house while you execute your search warrant. That's a good high. But taking a pill is bad.

  • Loki||

    Or the high that comes from sacrificing for the good of the collective.

    THE GREATER GOOD.

  • ||

    Watch Bigger Stronger Faster sometime. It's about how steroids are a huge part of American culture and we love our juiced-up athletes and entertainers, but we are constantly having moral freakouts about them. Everything in it is equally applicable to the fun drugs. Or food for that matter, like you said about your father in law.

  • sarcasmic||

    Don't forget the juiced-up cops. Everyone loves it when roided cops put criminals in their place. That's so... American!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Anabolic steroids are supposed to be "cheating", but if you just gobble them down without doing the work, all they'll get you is what cortico steroids get you: fat.

  • ||

    There was a famous study where they took some college kids and put them in four groups: no anabolic steroids, no lifting; no steroids, lifting; steroids, no lifting; steroids, lifting. The steroids and lifting group got the biggest, obviously, but #2 was steroids and no lifting.

    So yes, no one becomes awesome solely by taking pills, but they are pretty much magic.

    And roid rage still isn't a real thing. Assholes taking steroids and becoming even greater assholes is a real thing, but that's different.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Seriously? Thanks for correcting my mis-info.

  • ||

    This is it.

  • John||

    Here is the other thing about steroids. I don't know since I haven't taken them. But the few people I have known who did said one of the biggest effects of steroids is that it gives you this huge desire to work out. You just love working out when you take them.

    Maybe if it were legal to take small amounts of them more people would exercise and have few health problems?

  • Zeb||

    ODing and killing yourself isn't what they worry about. It's doing so while enjoying yourself that is the problem.

  • Zeb||

    I think they usually use methanol or some horrible tasting stuff where poisoning from methanol would be too likely. You need a pretty good amount of ethylene glycol to do much harm.

  • ||

    You're right, I was wrong about them adding ethylene glycol. They'll add methanol like you said, and that apparently is what usually causes the deaths. They also put in things to make it taste bad or cause nausea.

  • Loki||

    Funny how you never read about that in the high school history books section on Prohibition.

    Well, we can't have the kids learning about what a bunch of shitheels the governement really is. They might grow up to question things and maybe even become *gasp* libertarians instead of good little state supporting drones.

    This, BTW, is the kind of shit that I would teach if I were to ever become a history teacher. I probably wouldn't even bother with the textbook when it comes to things like prohibition.

  • John||

    So if God forbid someone does manage to blow themselves up at the Olympics, can we put to rest the argument that giving the police our civil rights and privacy makes us safer?

  • WTF||

    Never. It just means the Russians didn't go far enough.

  • Loki||

    Heard about this on the radio this morning and thought you H&R degenerates might appreciate it.

    Important lesson: If you're ever on a bus where two people are getting it on and the girl queefs, DON'T LAUGH.

    Bitch might go crazy and elbow you in the bean bag.

  • SugarFree||

  • Lord Humungus||

    not going to click... not going to click...

  • ||

    Personally, I like to go with the über-romantic, "Ugh, pull out for a sec, I'm all full of air."

  • Zeb||

    Why does everything have to be a thing for them? I've never found it to be a particularly delicate issue. It happens, it's obvious why it happens and it is a little bit funny.

  • Juice||

    One time it happened but the guy was a really good sport about it, so much so that he then pushed down on my abdomen, and more came out, and so on, until he laughed so hard that he farted. That was great, actually. I should get back in touch with him.

    Oh, come on.

  • Matrix||

    Ew. Gross, Sharon! Grow up!

  • Lord Humungus||

    it was a good run:

    5 men taken into custody as part of investigation into 1978 Lufthansa heist, FBI says

    Five men believed to be mobsters have been taken into custody as part of an investigation into the 1978 Lufthansa heist at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport, an FBI spokeswoman says.

    Around $5 million in cash and $1 million in jewels – worth about $20 million today -- were netted in a robbery of a Lufthansa cargo terminal at JFK airport in Dec. 11, 1978. The heist was made famous in the 1990 film “Goodfellas.”
  • Don Mynack||

    The arrest was donen to the piano interlude of Layla.

    Also, Wolf of Wall Street is the worst film that Scorcese has ever done, by a country mile. What a shitshow.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    One of the more interesting bits that comes out is how during prohibition the government poisoned industrial alcohol to keep people from distilling it into drinkable stuff. This resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people who unknowingly drank poisoned alcohol.

    Their intentions were good. Those people might never have reached their full potential as productive members of society if they had been allowed to fall into the clutches of teh Demon Rum.

  • PD Scott||

    And the people who went blind or died horrible deaths provided excellent examples of why drinking was bad. It's always a shame when the omelet needs more eggs.

  • ||

    Demonstration at Home of Google Developer. Google Bus Blocked in Berkeley.

    At 7am this morning, a group of people went to the home of Anthony Levandowski, a Google X developer. His house is a pompous, minimally decorated two story palace with stone lions guarding the door. After ringing his doorbell to alert him of the protest, a banner was held in front of his house that read "Google's Future Stops Here" and fliers about him were distributed around the neighborhood. [...]

    At one point, his neighbor emerged from her house. She said she knew about his collaboration with the military but insisted he was a "nice person." We see no contradiction here. It is very likely that this person, who develops war robots for the military and builds surveillance infrastructure, is a pleasant neighbor. But so what?

    Said "war robots"?

    The self-driven car has been another pet project of the DARPA for many years. It sponsored a recurring Grand Challenge for people designing self-driving vehicles, hoping someone would crack open the new technology. Anthony Levandowski was one of the wonder kids who flocked to these competitions, looking for a federal handout and fame. Now, with Google handing him more money than he could ever dream of, Levandowski is working long hours bringing this dream of the military into reality.
  • ||

    Other bits from the flyer:

    Levandowski started a company that created computer tablets designed to display blueprints at construction sites. The reasoning behind their venture was that updating and then printing new blueprints took a few days and slowed construction time. With this new product, construction companies could create condominiums, malls, and subdivisions with the least possible delay and the maximum profit. In praise of his prodigious business acumen, the administration-run UC Berkeley News decided to run an article on him in 2003, championing his ability to make money and enable the housing bubble that was just starting to expand.
    Preparing for the action, we watched Levandowski step out of his front door. He had Google Glasses over his eyes, carried his baby in his arm, and held a tablet with his free hand. As he descended the stairs with the baby, his eyes were on the tablet through the prism of his Google Glasses, not on the life against his chest. He appeared in this moment like the robot he admits that he is.
  • Loki||

    With this new product, construction companies could create condominiums, malls, and subdivisions with the least possible delay and the maximum profit.

    You'd think they would welcom more and better housing, but OH NO, TEH EVUL PROFITZ!!!!111!!!!!11!!

    Seriously, fuck these clowns. If one of these EVUL RICH Google employees were to hire some private security gaurds with itchy trigger fingers, and some of these asshole protestors got shot I'd have a hard time mustering a shred of sympathy.

  • ||

    Self-driving cars would go a long way toward eliminating traffic jams. I wonder if these protesters have the foresight to realize that they would help millions to live in pleasant neighborhoods, aka OH NOES SPRAWL, or if they're really protesting for the reason they say they are.

  • ||

    if they're really protesting for the reason they say they are.

    I think they found a Googler's address and made up excuses to protest, to avoid looking like pure bullies.

  • Loki||

    I think they're just a bunch of pompous assholes who should DIAF. Google should probably start to seriously consider moving out of California. Pretty much anywhere would be better.

  • John||

    They are hipster bums pissed that people who work for a living are buying up their apartments.

    This is why they are communists. Under capitalism, those who work hard and are productive get the nice stuff. If you are worthless bum who refuses to work and instead wants to sit around with your buddies smelling your own farts, communism seems like a better idea.

  • Sevo||

    In SF, the thugs are not luddites; they're equipped with all the latest gadgets.
    The sub-text has to do with residential locations. Low-end hipsters ('I'm an actor, but I'm pouring coffee until...') moved into an area called The Mission, and by raising the asking for rents, moved the lower-end Hispanics out.
    Well, the folks with decent jobs tend to follow the hipsters and now the hipsters are in the position of the Hispanics, but they can 'organize' to make fools of themselves.
    The Bay View (largely black) beckons about two miles south, but if they're not careful, that's gonna be taken by Asian immigrants who know how to work for a living and the hipsters are gonna have to find a real job or commute.
    Why a 30YO pours coffee is a mystery to me.

  • ||

    that's gonna be taken by Asian immigrants who know how to work for a living and the hipsters are gonna have to find a real job or commute.

    TEH ASHUNS ruin everything.

    It's amazing how smoothly SJW-types transition from casting Asian-Americans as poor, oppressed minorities to rich, oppressor model-minorities as it suits them.

  • Loki||

    The Bay View (largely black) beckons about two miles south

    They can't move there, there's BLACK PEOPLE!!!!!

    But remember, they're totally tolerant and open minded and not racist at all. They just prefer to live around other hipster trash.

  • John||

    But cars are evil Warty. Why do you hate mother earth?

  • sarcasmic||

    Another nice thing about self-driving cars is no more cops chasing cars. They could, with a touch of a button, lock you in your vehicle and drive you to jail.

  • Brett L||

    How will we stop people from drinking (or smoking) all they want if we can't use threat of draconian DUI punishments to induce shame and fear?

    People might once again begin to enjoy themselves beyond a mere warm feeling before returning to a 0.0 BAC.

  • db||

    I can't wait until Google goes full New York Times on protestors and installs belt fed machineguns at its campus to.protect.its employees.

  • ||

    Even better: atop its buses.

  • PD Scott||

    I don't agree with machine-gunning the protestors - after all, California is trying to limit the amount of lead in the environment from firearms. Instead, water cannon firing bear strength pepper spray would be a much more green solution.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I finally got rid of my ancient Apple 3GS and moved on to the latest 5S.

    Gotta say the new phone is quicker - the camera is tons better and the display is great.

    But gack, the latest OS looks like it was designed by some kids with crayons. The colors are BIG and BOLD.

  • ||

    Bro, you obviously don't #HOLO

    (In all seriousness it is a good phone, tiny screen aside)

  • Lord Humungus||

    I like having a phone that fits in my pocket, not a mini tablet.

  • ||

    I don't make a habit of it, but my actual 7-inch tablet fits in the pocket of some of my shorts (the normal one next to my hip, not a cargo pocket).

    Phones like my S3 fit anywhere with no trouble at all.

    You're not alone, of course. That's why my dad got a 5S. OTOH my mom just got an LG G2 (though she carries it in her purse).

  • db||

    The LG G2 is great and can fit easily.in your pocket if you don't smother it in an Otterbox.

  • Invisible Finger||

    How to save the planet? Put the Federal Reserve in charge.

    http://www.acting-man.com/?p=28144

  • The Late P Brooks||

    How to save the planet? Put the Federal Reserve in charge.

    PROVEN RECORD OF SUCCESS

  • Matrix||

    Kansas judge demands sperm donor pay child support to Lesbian couple

    People want rights but not responsibility. Seriously, fuck this judge and this couple.

  • sarcasmic||

    Huh?

  • ||

    I agree with the "fuck this couple" part, but it appears from the article that the judge was just applying the law as written.

  • John||

    And the result will be no gay couple will ever be able to find a sperm donor again. When that happens, I am sure this couple will be demanding mandatory sperm donation for lesbian couples.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, the law is the problem.

  • John||

    Not really. It was more this guy was sloppy and stupid. The law gives you a way to avoid child support. You just have to go to a fertility doctor and follow a few procedures. This guy didn't do any of that.

  • John||

    It gets better. If a state doesn't recognize gay marriage, the lesbian who didn't give birth to the child can walk away with no responsibility. She has no legal or biological tie to the child. So the mother and sperm donor get the bill and the other lesbian walks away even though she was half of the reason the mother decided to have the child in the first place.

  • Matrix||

    His biggest problem, also, was not utilizing a sperm donation facility with some kind of waiver to keep him covered. Also, force the non-mother partner to sign adoption papers.

  • John||

    He was a serious moron. According to the article the state of Kansas has a list of procedures you have to go through to donate sperm and not be on the hook as the father. He apparently followed none of them.

    I really don't blame the judge here. I blame him for being stupid and the Lesbian couple for being irresponsible shitheels. They wanted the kid. How fucking dare they now expect someone who did them a favor to pay for it.

  • Redmanfms||

    They wanted the kid. How fucking dare they now expect someone who did them a favor to pay for it.

    Is that really what they are expecting?

    It's my understanding of the case that the lesbians separated and the one that got stuck with the kid applied for benefits and the state of Kansas decided to go after the donor for child support.

  • John||

    My mistake. Fuck the state. But state welfare offices are mostly about making some man somewhere pay up. They routinely fuck over men's lives with no proof of parenthood beyond the word of some deadbeat mom.

  • Matrix||

    I used to work child support cases in Oklahoma. I remember a particular case where the guy lived in one state and his estranged wife lived in another state. They had not had any real contact with each other for years. She has a toddler with the guy she's been shacking up with. Well, she went on welfare and since she's married, her estranged husband is the presumed father. It's not his kid, but he still has to pay child support.

    In the state of Oklahoma (and I'm sure most states), you are presumed the father if you are married to the mother at the time of the birth of the child, or if she has a child within 10 months of your divorce to the mother. So, yeah, you could be a white couple, she has a half-black child and you're still the presumed father under law.

    And they do not do paternity tests for these situations. The man has to challenge it all in court on his own with paternity tests he gets himself. But that's not a guarantee, either.

  • John||

    It is called constructive parenthood Matrix. They also fuck over men who find out after their kid is two or three their wife was a whore and they are not the father.

  • The Last American Hero||

    This corner of family law isn't about justice. It's about the welfare of the child, which has little to do with justice.

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