Reason Morning Links: Bush Tax Cuts Deal Close, Interpol Targets Assange, Unemployment Benefits Expire

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  1. GOP Senator elect Kirk was on MSNBC yesterday morning. He stated he would vote for extending unemployment benefits if they were coupled with matching pay cuts. A host sensibly asked if he felt the same way about extending the tax cuts. He stood fazed for a few seconds and then repeated his line about voting for unemployment if it was coupled with cuts and then mumbled something about Pelosi…What a douche.

    1. Oh, and in the same interview he talked about the need for Obama to compromise with the GOP on the tax cuts. Pat Buchanan asked him what the compromise would be. He said a two year extension on all the cuts with a straight face. Buchanan erupted into laughter “that’s a victory not a compromise.” Kirk sat there in a stupor.

      1. Really, if you want the tax rate to be made permanent and agree to only a two year extension, I’d say that’s one hell of a compromise!

        1. Since a major issue has been if and where a cut off on any extension should be I don’t think so. A compromise would be something like an extension on all but those making a million or more.

          1. Well then, you see, a compromise is only a compromise when it fits your point of view…

            Like if you wanted to debate about how long of a rope you were going to hang me with. Personally, I’d say don’t hang me at all. Then if you said, we won’t hang you for two years – that’s a compromise! If we’re still talking about the length of the rope, I wouldn’t think that would be a compromise.

            1. A compromise is the exchange of a value for a lesser value or non-value. Guess who always wins in such an exchange?

              1. The EvilGreedyMonocleWearing Capitalists?

              2. Monocled Hitler?

          2. So you know have the all seeing insight to determine what is and isn’t a compromise? I’d say the spectrum ran from doing nothing to making permanent. Neither of which are viable so anything in between is a compromise.

            MSNBC picks the dumb opponents just like Fox does.

          3. Fuck that. Let’s just forcably take 90% of everything every billionaire has. We’ll start with Warren Buffet. He can get by on 4 billion or so. What the hell, anyone can get by on 10 million, so if you have over that, cough it up. Lefties need to gets some balls on this shit.

            Lefties need to reach out to their friends, and countrymen with fairness and social justice. For instance, I have a friend who makes about 300K a year. Sure, he has 4 kids, a wife, and dependent in-laws and travels 80% of the year. And sure, it took him 20 years to get to this point with multiple failures. But, but fuck him because it is undeniable that if he pays more taxes, my life will improve immeasurably through the guidance and benevolence of Washington, DC.

            We are all children of the State, what’s fair is fair. If we only had a Fairness Task Force.

    2. The full Senate republican caucus has just announced that they’re going to refuse to consider any more legislation until congress cuts the bullcrap and finally gets down to addressing the tax issue.

      And it’s about damn time. The worst congress in American history only has a few real working days left as it is.

  2. Formatting rather clobbered this morning, it seems ….

    1. H&R has gone far left.

      1. Thread winner?

        Side note: Is anyone else unable to post from a smart phone?

    2. Glad I’m not the only one confused by that. Thought it might be Chrome acting up since Failblog rendered similarly this morning.

      1. I’m sure it’s a conspiracy but I can’t prove it.

        The government!

        1. It’s a Koch trick to throw off the rest of the media…”H&R lurches left…that’ll throw ’em off the scent”

      2. All screwed up in Firefox too.

    3. BTW, for anyone else using Chrome who has Hit and Run and other sites loading dreadfully slow, the extension WidgetBlock is a lifesaver. Just installed it this morning and sites load up way faster.

  3. Unemployment benefits are ending?!!

    Oh well… I guess I’ll have to start looking for a job now. Damned government!

    1. “I guess I’ll have to start looking for a job now.”

      Yeah, lots of those around. Grab a unicorn while you’re at it.

      1. hey, there’s 6 million…being created or saved as we speak!

      2. Well, let’s see… I live in a small town and my local paper this morning had 106 ads for employment locally. Of course, I wouldn’t even consider any of them since I’ve been getting benefits, but now I guess I’ll have to start figuring out which one I want. I don’t know much about unicorns, but all I need to get a job is lower standards.

        1. Yeah, all those millions on unemployment are just living the good life rather than looking for all those jobs out there…

          1. There is anecdotal evidence out there that this is indeed the case and that many employers keep running into “call me in 3 months” type responses when they do offer a job to some people.

            1. I offered one of my former employees a job making the same he did when he left and I got this exact response: “I’ll call you when my unemployment runs out.” I hired someone else for less. His old job is now gone forever for him. Jobs created or saved indeed.

          2. I wouldn’t say the good life, but they definitely want jobs that are going to pay them more than their unemployment benefits do. Once the benefits are gone, their standards decrease exponentially. It’s all about incentives. If I could take a $10/hr job, but my benefits pay me $12, I’ll keep looking. Once my benefits are gone, I’ll take one paying $8/hr.

          3. You favor open-ended, unfunded welfare schemes, then? Lose a job (Through No Fault Of Your Own?) and get a permanent entitlement? Nice.

          4. Not living the good life, no… but if you can have the same net income not working as working, a lot of people will choose the not-working option. No doubt you’re shocked to hear that.

            1. They should change the name to Aid to Families with Dependent Adults.

            2. Fatty,

              Every net tax receiver is pure of heart, innocent and good, a victim of unfathomable forces deliberately placed outside control and every tax payer has the twisted, black soul of Scrooge, and only has inherited money they don’t deserve or a false job where they make untold riches for no reason other than they are white.

              1. And of course, the question that determines the fairness of distribution is who “deserves” it more? Surely not that lazy, layabout, slacker, do-nothing who merely inherited his father’s ill-gotten, filthy lucre. The pure-of-heart, blameless, downtrodden person of lesser means and preferred demographic status clearly “deserves” that other guy’s money and stuff more than he.

                1. “…to each according to his needs.”

          5. I’m currently employed but I still look for a new employment here and there and I can find them. I’m fortunate that I don’t NEED to take one of them, but you’d have to be a huge loser to not be able to get one of the ones I see available. They need to stop the benefits so people will actually try. There are jobs out there.

            1. I’m fortunate that I don’t NEED to take one of them

              Well, till now, at least.

              1. That’s why I’m always looking. But I’m smarter than everyone MNG thinks is deserving. I’m kind of an arrogant prick, too.

                (breathes on monocle, wipes with handkerchief)

                1. wylie, after I just reread your comment, I’m not sure you read correctly, that I’m currently EMPLOYED, not unemployed.

                  1. Correct, i totally misread one of the most important words in your post. Where’s my self-flagellation implement, dammit.

          6. More than one study shows they aren’t looking for those jobs, whether they are out there or not.

            That is unless they are Latino, then most studies show they just start their own business.

          7. I know this situation doesn’t describe everyone, but the two people I know on unemployment benefits are totally using them to not work.

            I feel bad for all those people that really do want to find a job, but face it, if the government pays you to not work, a lot of people are going to milk it as long as they can.

      3. Back ion 1996, my father told me that anyone who wanted a job could get one. He was absolutely correct.

  4. Just a quick aside:

    On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being something completely lacking credibility (like an Obama promise to not raise taxes or something) and 10 being something as sure as gravity (like, say, one of my posts) how credible do we find the rape accusations against Assange?

    I’m just asking because although the media keeps reporting that story, I don’t see a lot of the “You can’t believe these leaked memos about Hillary because they were leaked by a rapist!” type argumentation I’d expect to see if anyone took the charges seriously. Has everyone basically looked at this situation and said, “Yeah, right, whatever”?

    1. I don’t credit them at this point, it seems like the usual bs charge trumped up against establishment enemies (remember Waco?).

      I love the controversy if only in how it twists Hit and Runpublicans and Paleos into interesting contortions, attacking a private actor who published government secrets to us citizens and calling for legal coercive action against him.

      1. There are paleos suggesting that?

    2. I think he’s innocent…until proven guilty. 🙂

      Seriously, though, since does Interpol usually put out international arrest warrants for sex crimes? Is that a common charge for interpol to pursue?

      1. Not that I know of.

    3. Soon, they’ll be accusing him of being a Koch-funded libertarian.

      1. Is he accused of raping the victim at an airport gate?

    4. I don’t know. It is not like Sweden is some puppet state of the U.S. or some authoritarian country. They have a western judicial system. I haven’t seen the evidence against him. I think it is possible the whole thing is B.S. But I wouldn’t dismiss it either. Just because the guy does something you like or is a bomb thrower doesn’t mean he can’t also be some kind of a deviated prevert. I think anyone not directly involved who makes any categorical statement about the case is talking out of their ass.

      1. “They have a western judicial system.”

        Like the one Balko reports on?

        1. So because abuses exist in the system you can immediately dismiss any case in that system? Balko’s abuses though outrageous and far too many in number, still represent the minority of cases in the country. The vast majority of people going to jail in this country really are guilty and not just of bs crimes like drug use. Yes, MNG, there really are criminals out there and people going to prison who deserve it.

          1. If Assange was some random dude it would be more believable. Don’t you find it kind of unusual that he appears on the Interpol most wanted list days after embarrassing the US government and some of their allies?

            1. He also appeared on interpol’s list several days after he disappeared and it relates to a case that has been ongoing for a while. They put him on the list because he is wanted and his whereabouts are unknown. Had he not disappeared, he would have never made the list.

              And No. I would like to think the US is so powerful it can just put anyone it doesn’t like on the interpol list. But I seriously doubt that is the case.

            2. Not really, this case has been on-going for a while now. It may be baseless (sounds a bit tenuous from what very little I’ve heard) but I suspect that no one here knows any details. No one is above the law when it comes to sex crimes.

              1. “No one is above the law when it comes to sex crimes.”

                Except Bill Clinton. Or the Kennedy clan.

                1. Damn you Pete, teachin me to refresh before posting, *tiny shaken fist*

              2. No one is above the law when it comes to sex crimes.

                Void where prohibited. Exceptions where valid, ie. The White House, The NBA, or Hollywood.

                1. And white guys in the NFL.

      2. ^^THIS^^

      3. Well, that’s why I gave a scale.

        I think it’s about a 3.

        I give it a low score because there are two non-overlapping reasons to think it’s BS:

        1. While I don’t think Sweden is a puppet state of the US, I’m sure the US has assets in place in Sweden that could simply be instructed to walk into a police station and swear out a complaint.

        That’s a little tin-foil-y, though, so it only knocks the accusation down a couple of points.

        2. But the primary accuser has an “adviser” who is apparently the Swedish version of a Feministing person. And since Scandinavian Feministing people have to be worse than our own Feministing people by about an order of magnitude, that also knocks the rating down a couple of points.

        So if all complaints start out at around a 7, you lose a few points here and a few points there and you’re down to a 2 or 3.

        1. I’d say 4 or better.

          1) Assange has ego issues, just the sort of person who would do something like this.

          2) Two women made the charge, not just one.

          3) If it was a bogus charge from some US intel assets, he’d have said “I never even met them.” Instead he said it was “consensual.” Though I suppose it could have been a setup from the start.

        2. by about an order of magnitude

          I’m pretty sure that doesn’t mean anything.

          1. It does if we can devise a numerical scale to measure the worseness of Feministing chicks.

    5. …how credible do we find the rape accusations against Assange?

      I would need to know whether the alleged victim is a man, a woman, or a child.

    6. On a scale of 1 to 10, this new formatting is a two. And that is being nice.

      1. Just the column spacing/position is the problem now. Otherwise it’s an improvement.

          1. Try adjusting the height of your chair?

        1. The vertical gray line thru the middle of the text makes all this virtually unreadable.

          1. And fixed. Not sure why this wasnt done on the test box before pushing to production, but what do I know, Ive only been doing this shit for clients for 10+ years.

            1. You want a gold star or something?

              1. No, I want reason to act professionally. Instead of fixes in production like they regularly do whenever they make a change.

                1. Its not like testing->staging->production is a radical model or anything.

                  1. Now you’re just showing off.

                  2. It’s so simple, too. I don’t think they have a Quality environment.

              2. We’re libertarians. We want all the gold we can get, especially @ $1250 / .oz or whatever.

    7. From what I have seen reported, not very credible. However I doubt the early reporting is very accurate. It rarely is, and that probably goes double in this case.

    8. Since this is a “he said/she said” accusation, with (AFAIK) no corroborating evidence and no reports of other accusations (sex criminals tend to be habitual), I would put the credibility pretty darn low.

      Especially given how convenient it is for certain very well-connected and powerful parties.

      1. Think she’s suffering from regret? I wanted to fuck him until 11 governments told me I shouldn’t have.

      2. The charges are coming from two different women, but I’m not sure if it was more than one incident.

    9. I thought, based on an article I read a while back, that it was the sort of questionable he-said/she-said sort of rape charge that conservatives (and often libertarians) love to decry as being ripe for abuse. Not like drugging or dragging her into a back alley at gunpoint or whatever. But who knows?

    10. The Assange sex allegations are about one thing: getting him into official custody under any pretense. I think it’s certainly possible that he’s guilty of rape, but once he’s under the control of Interpol or a national government, does anyone really think the questions he will be asked will have much to do with the rape allegation? Or that he will be released under any circumstances?

  5. More nutsiness about art from the right I see……

    1. Call me when they display the Mohammed covered in ants.

    2. I reject your premise that what I just saw was art. Art takes talent. My rule of thumb is that if I can make it, its not art.

      1. As long as you don’t call it “intellectual property” you’ll be fine.

    3. I saw no art.

  6. “And incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., called it an “outrageous use of taxpayer money and an obvious attempt to offend Christians during the Christmas season.”

    I guess it is simply impossible that it really aimed to do what the artist and curator said it did which was represent the suffering of disease victims…I mean its not like there is a tradition of representing Jesus as standing in for the suffering of the world…

    1. I don’t really care that it was Jesus or Muhammad or Charlie Brown. I am just tired of my tax money going to support crappy art. Seriously, this is the state of Western Culture? How did we go from Titian and Vermeer to this?

      1. People were as scandalized by many of the “classics” as they are by that stuff now John. In a hundred years you might find that stuff hanging in banks.

        1. Yes, some great art can be scandalous at the time. But that doesn’t mean that just because something is scandalous it is great art.

          This shit won’t be hanging in banks in a hundred years. It will be forgotten like pretty much all of the other “serious art” done in the last forty or so years.

          1. My personal favorite modern artist. AFAIK, he doesn’t take tax money.

            1. I like that. And he doesn’t take tax money because someone might actually pay to hang that stuff on their walls.

            2. You know who else used tax dollars to fund massive art projects?

          2. But that doesn’t mean that just because something is scandalous it is great art.

            Agreed. Shock for the sake of shock gets tiresome faster than the latest expansion to WoW.

      2. I am just tired of my tax money going to support crappy art.

        What about really good art?

        1. It would still bug me. But it would bug me less. If you want to kill off all public funding to the arts, you won’t get any complaint from me.

      3. Seriously, this is the state of Western Culture? How did we go from Titian and Vermeer to this?

        In the past there war much less wealth around, to make a living as an artist you had to be really good. In a wealthy, capitalist society you can survive as a crappy artist. To all this bad art’s a good thing (also: all the crappy art of the past got lost, only the good stuff survived).

        1. True enough. That combined with the nitwit idea that anything shocking must be great art has produced some God awful crap.

        2. Crappy art doesn’t survive in a welathy capitalist society unless the NEA gets grants. There may be an abundance of tastes in this country, but the shit still needs a sponsor.

    2. So, they used the tradition of Jesus standing in for suffering without knowing of or respecting the whole “defacing depictions of Jesus pisses off Christians”? This is a fine line you walk. Everybody’s getting what they want out of this. I’m not crying for any of the parties. Show it at a privately owned gallery, and I’ll jump to their defense to display it.

      1. defacing depictions of Jesus pisses off Christians

        Displaying him being executed, however, still A-OK.

        1. He got better.

          1. Oh? I never did finish that book. Good for him though.

  7. Mohammed covered in ants.

    *lightning bolt strikes*

    I wonder how hard it would be to produce “Mohammad-shaped” dog treats? You know, like animal cookies, in reverse.

    1. That is a problem with backing down to Muslims over Muhammad. Now, whenever someone says or does something disparaging to another religion, the immediate response is “do it to Islam to or shut the fuck up”. There is a place for the profane and for the anti-religious in art and society. But that place can’t be just for some things but not for others. Once you exempt one, you will end up exempting all the others. And then you pretty much have lost your freedom of thought and speech.

      1. I think artists tend to rebel agains the society they grew up in and live in. Friends of mine who grew up in Warsaw Pact nations said artists there skewered communism like our artists skewer capitalist excesses.

        The problem is that those in the Muslim world who want to skewer Islam end up dead at the hands of Islamic fanatics…

        1. The artist is 15 years too late. “Piss Christ” was a sensation, this is just a political fundraising story. Its like high-school kids dyeing their hair so they can be different — just like all their friends.

        2. But we have been skewing Christianity for well over a hundred years now. Manet’s Luncheon in the Grass is totally profane. And in the 19th Century it was new and interesting. A hundred years later that aspect of the painting is a quaint piece of art history trivia. Being profane and anti-Christian is about as tiresome and unimaginative as you can get these days. There is nothing new radical or interesting about it anymore. And I say that not because I have some problem with anti-Christian art. I don’t. If I lived in Poland I would probably be tired of anti-Communist art. And if I wasn’t, I sure as hell would be in a hundred years.

          1. As long as it continues to piss people off, artists will keep doing it. Outrage and what fuels it is a symbiotic life cycle.

            1. There should be more to art than just pissing people off. I could come and piss on your leg and that would certainly piss you off. But is that art? Actually some people would say it is “performance art”. I call shenanigans on that.

              To me art has to have two things going for it. It has to require some measure of technical skill. And it has to represent something in some kind of metaphorical way. It can’t just be the thing itself. That is reality. We all live that. We look at art to see reality as reflected through some kind of metaphor.

              For example, take the Luncheon in the Grass painting. Google it and you will see a sparrow at the top of the painting. It looks like a classical representation of the Trinity. The painting is a redo of a older more classical paintings (by Titian and Rapheal I think) that are both studies in mythical nude figures. But Manet does it with ordinary people and just sticks a nude woman in the middle of a middle class picnic. And if you look closely, the woman in the background in the water seems to be taking a piss. It is a fabulously subversive painting. But it is subversive in a really creative and subtle way. That to me is great art. Now an artist would just paint “Fuck the Masters” accompanied by a cartoon drawing of Christ masturbating and call it art.

              1. It’s utterly pointless to discuss the meaning of “art” on a blog. Suffice it to say that people should not be forced to buy it.

                1. It’s utterly pointless to discuss the meaning of “art” on a blog.

                  FTFY

              2. There is “is” and there is “ought to be.” As long as you can still get a rise out of people profaning their religious beliefs, those beliefs will continue to be profaned.

                I go to the undergrad art show every year (it’s this Friday, in fact) and there is never any “sacrilegious” art. It’s not out of respect. It’s because nobody cares.

                1. No, but there will be a sculpture consisting of a wheelbarrow sawed in half with a broomstick leaning against it topped with an upside down, crumb laden, grease covered KFC bucket.

                  1. Actually the sculpture department is dominated by welders that work with broken pieces of heavy industrial equipment. Almost every year some makes something out of rusted, jagged shards that looks like The Shrike from Hyperion. Or a huge tetanus tree.

                    1. That’s funny, that was exactly the state of the FSU sculpture department in the early 1990s. Everything looked like serious S/m equipment.

                  2. I’d love to have that! Is that for sale?

                  3. No, but there will be a sculpture consisting of a wheelbarrow sawed in half with a broomstick leaning against it topped with an upside down, crumb laden, grease covered KFC bucket.

                    I’d love to have that! Is that for sale?

                    (First attempt at commenting didn’t produce intended results.)

            2. I dunno, a little cross dunked in piss or covered with ants is pretty tame these days. If you want to be controversial, you should light it on fire.

              I’m sure that despite the complaints about offensiveness, the NEA would stand for artistic integrity, challenging social mores, boldness of vision, and so on.

        3. The difference is that artists in Warsaw Pact nations that did work that skewered communism didn’t get government grants.

          Public figures are as entitled as anyone to express opinions about their taste in art. The only government actions that are acceptable though is cutting off public funding.

          And, yes, I believe that all federal funding for art should be ended beyond purchases of art for the decoration of public buildings.

          Arguments that art needs to be subsidized for the uplifting of mankind should be no more persuasive than those for religion needing to be subsidized for the uplifting of mankind.

    2. I wonder how hard it would be to produce “Mohammad-shaped” dog treats hog feed?

      Ftfy.

      1. Mohammed-grain fed pork products.

        Mmmm…..sacrilicious.

  8. it really aimed to do what the artist and curator said it did which was

    illustrate Mencken’s dictum, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the average museum curator.”?

  9. GOP Reps Blast Smithsonian Exhibit Featuring Ant-Covered Jesus on Cross

    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

    1. Sugarfreed the link.

      http://www.insurancejournal.co…..115244.htm

      1. It amazes me. The new 1099 reporting will be a major burden. Tracking down EINs and accurately reporting payments are only the beginning. When people start getting desk audits because revenues don’t tie into the 1099s they were issued – that’ll be an even bigger wast of time and resources.

        1. As a businessman, I now have to 1099 every transaction in excess of $600, which my company can easily spend on a toilet paper order. But if I’m an undocumented alien, I don’t have to show you a god damned thing.

      2. Obama himself said that the 1099 requirements should be taken out of the bill. What do the senators think they are going to accomplish with this?

        1. I have no idea. By continually voting against the crappy portions of the ACA, they probably think they can saddle all of the crappy shit on the Dems. They probably guess, accurately, that voters won’t understand the various little fixes and will blame everything on the Blues.

    2. Republicans don’t want to repeal it because it would provide cover for Democrats. It’s much more useful to them as a political bargaining tool, kind of like abortion.

      Meanwhile, business owners will feel the pain.

  10. Mr Assange’s whereabouts are unknown. He moves regularly from country to country and is known to have spent periods in Britain and Sweden. He was believed to have been in the UK earlier in November.

    It is thought he only stays in the same place for a short period of time.

    OMG! He’s like, totally similar to Osama Bin Laden! Except he’s white! And alive!

    1. ….and holds press conferences instead of sending video recordings to Al Jazeera! THERE HE IS – GET ‘IM!

      *enter Keystone Kops, stage left*

    2. He’s like, totally similar to Osama Bin Laden!

      Or David Banner. (I know, but I felt an allusion to the tv show was more apt.)

  11. Sell off the Smithsonians. Soros, Gates and the Koch Bros. can have a bidding war.

    1. At least sell off the Air and Space Museum. I remember being disappointed when I went there as a kid and it was so much crappier than Wright-Patterson.

      1. It has gotten better. They opened an annex at Dulles that is big enough to have a better collection. And the Air and Space Museum is not as big as Wright Patterson or overall as cool. But it does have the Spirit of St. Louis, the X1 and the original Wright Flyer. To me that is the American equivalent of the Sistine Chapel.

        1. The Spirit of St. Louis is cool, but the Enola Gay (or is it Bock’s Car? I haven’t been there in 15 years) is at WP. Nothing makes you say “fuck yeah” quite like that plane.

          1. Enola Gay is put together and on display at the annex at Dulles. Bock’s Car is at Wright Paterson.

            1. That’s hilarious. I guess they wanted to show the foreign tourists at Dulles just what kind of country they’ve just come to, or something like that.

      2. The ICBM’s were cool.

        One of the US airforce bases north of London has a really good museum. Must check it out soon.

        1. Is there any good leftover shit from the war still? A big part of me is still an 11-year old WW2 bomber nerd.

          I’m still pissed at my 10-year-old self for deciding not to go with my grandpa to his bomber group’s 50th anniversary party in England back in 1992.

          1. The museum in New Orleans has some pretty cool stuff. Nothing like the air museums, but a lot of interesting small stuff.

          2. Not sure, but I presume so. My cousin said they had a lot of ICBM’s etc and an SR-71, IIRC.

            EDIT: definitely is, and in a Norman Foster building too.

            http://aam.iwm.org.uk/

          3. There are still groups flying airworthy B-17s and B-25s. You can take a ride in one for about $400.

            1. I love that it’s possible to keep just about ANYTHING running forever, provided you have enough money. Naturally, that just makes Planned Obsolescence piss me off more.

              1. The hardest part is keeping up with the specs for parts. Knowing what alloys to use is as important as the physical dimension specification of mechanical parts. But assuming you have appropriate alloys, there are plenty of custom machine shops that can cut parts to better tolerances than the originals.

                1. Seen the Jay Leno vid about 3d printing? Pure Awesomeness.

                  1. Hell yeah. I want a desktop CNC Mill/3D Printer so I can build my own widgets. Prices are approaching reasonable (Mac computer range) for the 6″ x 6″ x 3″ volume.

        2. One of the US airforce bases north of London has a really good museum.

          A museum in another country, how convenient. Yeah, um, those budget cuts we’ve been talking about? Yeah, this is one of em.

          1. I think that it’s run by the Imperial War Museum now.

            1. Well, that’s good. *mumbling* givin the limies a museum, arghghgh, warglbargle, fooferah *mumbling*

  12. Sell off the Smithsonians.

    The coolest yard sale ever.

    1. I would sell all of my organs for a shot at some of Air & Space pieces.

      1. Yeah, like that monkey astronaut.

        1. Who doesn’t need a stuffed monkey?

        2. *smacks lips*

  13. Unemployment benefits expire for millions today.

    Good

    1. It’ll be worth it just to see Ed Schultz cry.

  14. How did we go from Titian and Vermeer to this?

    Fuck Titian and Vermeer; where’s George Herriman when you need him?

  15. So when did Keith Olberman start doing “The Worst Person in the World” segment again? I thought he stopped doing that our of respect for Jon Stewart or something. Apparently Bristol Palin was “worst person in the world” this week.

    1. He’s getting around his hypocrisy by calling it the “fake” Worst Person etc. But he’s still claiming at the end of his liarfest that the Republicans have “taken control” of the House, even though they haven’t and won’t till next year (January). Mr. Olbermann, where is the truth?

      1. It is a little odd to call a teenager on a dance show “The Worst Person in the World”. What did she do? Go after Jennifer Grey with a tire tool?

        1. I’d pay good money to see that.

          “You’re getting your old nose back, beeyotch!”

        2. Olbermann is a punk and a hack. Legitimate journalists don’t attack the families of politicians. He’s no better than a blog troll.

          1. I have never seen Olbermann and MNG together in a room.

            Hmmmmmmm…..

            1. MNG seems smarter than Olberdoodle. Olberdoodle really is pretty thick.

  16. On a scale of 1 to 10, this new formatting is a two. And that is being nice.

    It *seems* to be a little faster; that makes it an improvement.

    and- My new “Mohammad-shaped” dog treats will, of course, be pork flavored. Working on a name, now.

    1. Mohammed Bites? PBUH Bones? Puppy Prophet Chews? Taliban Treats? (stretching a bit, I know)

      1. I still want to market Mohammed’s Finest Kosher Pork products. I think I’ll have legal issues calling them Kosher, though, so I may have to drop that from the name. But I envision a line of bacon, hams, and sausages from the flesh of the swine. If it sells I may branch out into barbecue sauce.

        Really, I just want a fatwa of my very own.

        1. Can’t you work around the legality of the “Kosher” label by processing the pigs by kosher standards? Yes, the animal itself isn’t kosher, but kosher slaughtering could be enough to avoid any legal problems. Worth a shot at least.

          1. What if you just replace Kosher with Hebrew? You still get the insult without the lawsuit, and it’s only quasi-nonsensical.

            1. Is there any regulatory structure this board CAN’T find a way around?

              1. I’m all ears on how to evade income taxes and not go to jail. And still get income.

          2. I don’t think the government can make a ruling on whether or not something is technically kosher* because of the 1st Amendment. If you just claim that Kosher is the name, rather than a claim, you may be able to get around it. Especially if it’s named “Kosher Pork Products” you can probably say that no reasonable person would think that pork could be kosher.

            This is why things like kosher Coke and the like have a circle k to denote which rabbinical authority determined that it was kosher.

            1. I seem to recall hearing that New York State regulates Kosher foods.

              IIAN further M, some rabbis are at odds with some of the state’s standards.

              1. That has to be violation of the first amendment.

            2. So it would be nonsensical, like Grape-Nuts? I like it. I may run it by counsel when she gets back tonight.

        2. Bacon salt is kosher so youneverknow.

      2. Mohammed Bites?

        Kibbles ‘n Virgins
        PBUH Chow
        Mohammad Mix

    2. Seems a little slower on submission to me.

    3. Mohamed Munchies

      Like suicide bomb in your mouth.

      1. Can you crack them open to read a semi-clever Fatwa, or will it just be a creamy, bacony nugget center?

  17. How did we go from Titian and Vermeer to this?

    * golf clap *

  18. Does Dulles have the SR71? I saw that thing leave Peterson AFB, many years ago.

    Holy fuck is that thing fast. My friend and I turned and did the “Did you SEE THAT?!” face at the same time.

    1. I saw a show on the collection recently, and IIRC the Blackbird is in one of the buildings (I don’t know which one).

      Coolest. Place. EVER.

      1. Duh – Coolest. PLANE. Ever.

        1. Works either way.

          1. That thing was designed almost 50 years ago and it still looks like it’s from the future.

            1. I think it was also one of the fastest turnarounds from paper to plane for the Skunkworks.

    2. It’s at Dulles. Udvar-Hazy is worth the trip.

      1. Agreed. That place is by far the best smithsonian, lots of things there that are just jaw-droppingly cool.

        1. The Garber Facility in Silver Hill, MD is very cool. It’s where they do the restoration for all the planes. LOTS of of way cool planes and all sorts of gadgets out there. I was there years ago, but IIRC, it’s not open to the public any longer.

          The Enola Gay was sitting pieces on the floor when I was there, awaiting restoration. I couldn’t actually get into it, but I stole a rub off of it when no one was around. I still hold that as a high point.

  19. Thought on unemployment based on people not taking jobs that pay less that unemployment benefits (for obvious reasons).

    Decrease unemployment by $40 per week ($1 per hour equivalent) every month.
    So, if in month 1 you receive $480 per week, you would only have 12 months of benefits, and it would be pretty tiny the last few months anyway.

    Allows people to lower their standards slowly instead of an immediate cutoff.

    1. Arizona’s maximum UE benefit is $240 a week. Where the fuck does UE pay $480 a week????

      1. Max benefit in MA is $629.

        Plus $25 a week per kid.

  20. The best part of the Wikileaks thing is watching people lose their minds. Some nitwit this morning said Assange should be declared an enemy combatant. Nice principles, buddy.

  21. Tom Friedman today. Some choice bits of stupidity.

    “There is a willful self-destructiveness in the air here as if America has all the time and money in the world for petty politics. They fight over things like ? we are not making this up ? how and where an airport security officer can touch them.”

    A love of petty authoritarianism, Check.

    “Americans just had what they call an “election.” Best we could tell it involved one congressman trying to raise more money than the other (all from businesses they are supposed to be regulating) so he could tell bigger lies on TV more often about the other guy before the other guy could do it to him.”

    A distaste for Democracy, check.

    “The ambassador recently took what the Americans call a fast train ? the Acela ? from Washington to New York City. Our bullet train from Beijing to Tianjin would have made the trip in 90 minutes. His took three hours ? and it was on time! ”

    And the train worship. Don’t forget the train worship.

    “In foreign policy, we see no chance of Obama extricating U.S. forces from Afghanistan. He knows the Republicans will call him a wimp if he does, so America will keep hemorrhaging $190 million a day there. Therefore, America will lack the military means to challenge us anywhere else, particularly on North Korea, where our lunatic friends continue to yank America’s chain every six months so that the Americans have to come and beg us to calm things down.”

    So we need to get out of Afghanistan not because it is the right thing to do or we have already won or it is making the best of a bad situation. No, we need to get out of Afghanistan so we can start other, more important wars elsewhere.

    “Most of the Republicans just elected to Congress do not believe what their scientists tell them about man-made climate change. America’s politicians are mostly lawyers ? not engineers or scientists like ours ? so they’ll just say crazy things about science and nobody calls them on it. It’s good. It means they will not support any bill to spur clean energy innovation, which is central to our next five-year plan. And this ensures that our efforts to dominate the wind, solar, nuclear and electric car industries will not be challenged by America.”

    And of course no NYT column is complete without Green Energy!!

    I think it is an inspiration to retarded kids everywhere that one of them can grow up to be a best selling author and NYT opinion writer.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12…..ntemail1=y

    1. “The ambassador recently took what the Americans call a fast train ? the Acela ? from Washington to New York City. Our bullet train from Beijing to Tianjin would have made the trip in 90 minutes. His took three hours ? and it was on time! “

      And the train worship. Don’t forget the train worship.

      China worship as well.

    2. Wait, he’s including China instead of the US in his first person plural now?

      1. Because Americans kept asking “What’s this ‘we’, kimosabe?”

      2. The gimmick of the article is what would Wikileaked documents from the Chinese embassy look like. So the POV is from a Chinese ambassador. That’s why “we” is China.

    3. our next five-year plan

      OK, that gives it away. Tom Friedman is cesar.

    4. China has more trains that us, and all you can worry about is a centrally orchestrated campaign of legalized sexual violation? Focus on what’s important!

      Wait, let me try that again.

      This is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let’s not bicker and argue over who molested who.

      Nah, it doesn’t work as well.

      “Americans just had what they call an “election.” Best we could tell it involved one congressman trying to raise more money than the other (all from businesses they are supposed to be regulating) so he could tell bigger lies on TV more often about the other guy before the other guy could do it to him.”

      Well, aside from his lamentable use of the word “raise” instead of “extort”, this isn’t so bad.

  22. I go to the undergrad art show every year (it’s this Friday, in fact) and there is never any “sacrilegious” art.

    Not even Gap-Tooth Hillbilly Jesus in cover-hauls?

    I am Disappoint.

    1. I just go for the nudie photos.

  23. GWAR disembowels Sarah Palin on stage

    This looks like pure evil. Their music sucks too.

    Lol. Can’t disagree with the second sentence, however.

    1. Worst band ever GWAR or ICP? Discuss.

      1. In the acronym division, obviously it’s KISS. Overall, clearly it’s Limp Bizkit. They get the prize for working in a irredeemably horrible genre, doing a vomitous job at it, and staying inexplicably famous for far longer than they had any right to.

        1. You left out spelling.

        2. I’d have to go Limp Bizkit as well; ICP is vile, but at least they are fairly obscure in the overculture. Durst was everywhere for awhile.

          GWAR is a joke-band and the audience is clearly in on it. ICP ‘s direct competitor for “in-costume shit band” is clearly Slipknot.

          Although, that’s really only stadium-level bands. For flat out worst music, nothing is worst than Xiu Xiu.

          1. Don’t forget Linkin Park. How pathetic do you have to be to be a Limp Bizkit knock off?

      2. I think GWAR and ICP are elaborate trolls, so they wouldn’t qualify for worst band ever IMO. I’d reserve that honor for a band that is trying to be taken seriously but really, really sucks.

        1. Good point. So, then, we’re left with a tie between Limp Bisquick and Coldplay.

        2. That is a good point. You are disqualified for the title “worst” if you actively campaign for it. For me the worst bands ever are Limp Bizkit and Bare Naked Ladies. Limp Bizkit for managing to be both a horrible rap band and a horrible heavy metal band at the same time. And Bare Naked Ladies for being incredibly douchy and unfunny and but thinking they are just the opposite.

            1. Um, The Black Eyed Peas is playing next February’s Super Bowl. Not that they are the worst band ever. Just sayin’.

              1. No, they are the worst. THE WORST. I fucking hate the fuck out of the fucking black eyed peas. I know it’s not PC to hate on retards when they’re trying to make music and dancing around all happy and shit, but fuck it, I hate those tarded fucks.

          1. I would piss on all of the Black Eyed Peas at once and call it art.

            And if I played a harmonica while doing it I’d be in a better band than them.

          2. Don’t forget Green Day. They belong in any discussion of worst ever. Billie Joe Armstrong screaming “Don’t want to be an American Idiot” is the funniest unintentionally ironic moment in rock history.

            1. Are we completely ignoring boy bands? My sister had “I Wanna Sex You Up” on “repeat 1” for an entire summer. . . *shudder*

            2. The problem is that they were too influential.

              They were a big part of alternative pulling out of its grunge phase in the mid-90’s.

              If they’re the worst ever, then pretty much all bands now who aren’t Mumford and Sons or the Avett Brothers would carry that worst-ever gene.

              1. True. And their first record was pretty good. The rest, however, is bloody awful.

          3. Bare Naked Ladies, Canada’s cut rate They Might Be Giants. Ugh.

            So, the first time ever heard BDL was in 1998. I had foolishly done Ecstasy the night before without thinking about the fact that I had to go to work the next morning. The hangover from Ecstacy is fairly manageable, as long as you don’t have anything to do the next day, because when you finally come down you are really tired. Like post-marathon bone weary.

            I had a temp job stocking textbooks while I was waiting for the semester to start. Except for the owner and my wife, everyone else there were hardcore vegan hippies and I had gone to high school with over half of them. Since the store was closed, the hippies were all taking turns playing goddamn hippie music. Which, for the most part, I can stand.

            But then one of them put on a BNL live recording. And the song “If I Had A Million Dollars” came on. Llike all shitty bands, they jam endlessly live and the jam version of this song consisted the two lead singer dorks singing the phrase “If I had a million dollars…” back and forth to each other for what seemed like forever. So tired. Moving textbooks. The same phrase cycling over and over again.

            When the owner stepped out back to have a smoke, I finally broke down and screamed “If I had a million dollars I’D PAY TO HAVE YOU ALL KILLED! TURN THAT SHIT OFF!” Blissful silence for the rest of the day.

            1. I like BNL. And I recently sang a karoke duet version of If I Had a Million Dollars with Miss Teen U.S.A. 1986.
              So there’s that.

              1. And when both John and SF believe a band sucks hard, you know they got to be great.

                1. And you know what, now there is prewrapped bacon. I credit BNL for that.

                2. I don’t really think they flat-out suck. I just think they are about 1/10th as funny as they think they are.

            2. BNL did Brian Wilson. For that, I can forgive a lot of douchy-ness.

              Green Day was decent when they stayed with teenage topics and didn’t try to pretend they were adults. That they recently covered Husker Du’s Don’t Want to Know if You Are Lonely was more evidence of overreach.

              1. How soon can we include Owl City?

                1. How soon can we include Owl City?

                  Right fucking now. Ben Gribbard should eat that guy’s eyes right out of their sockets.

            3. If I had a Million Dollars is classic BNL and why I hate them so much. It is a completely stupid song. It is not funny at all. I can forgive that. Lots of bands are not funny. Some of the greatest bands ever were not funny at all. In fact very few bands, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin ever managed to be funny. So not being funny is very forgivable. But what is not forgivable is not being funny but thinking you are. That is what makes BNL so uniquely unbearable. They sing shit like “If I Had a Million Dollars” with this smug attitude. You can tell they think they are so fucking funny. It just drives me nuts.

              And the jamming part is one of the worst aspects to come out of the 1990s. Very few bands are talented enough or interesting enough to carry more than a three or four minute song. And even the ones that were like the Dead or the Allmon Brothers admit that jamming is playing live without a net. Sometimes it fails even if you are great at it. But lesser talents like BNL or Dave Matthews or Phish always fail. Even when they manage to have a song that you can stand, their live jamming will inevitably fuck it up and make it unbearable. But they are so arrogant and so lacking in self awareness they don’t even realize how badly they suck.

              1. Norwegian Wood is a very funny song, so the Beatles did in fact manage to be funny at least once.

                1. I was saying the Stones, Beatles and Led Zeppelin were three examples of bands that managed to be funny. It is rare. And Norwegian Wood is a very funny song. So is Ticket to Ride and Day Tripper which are about a prostitute and a lesbian respectively.

              2. Now that I know John hates BNL I’ll enjoy them even more. God is good.

              3. The only bands I’ve ever seen who could successfully jam are the ones that have been together for 15 years or more (Other than jazz bands, of course). Unless you’re really good at it, it sounds fucking terrible.

                1. A few bands could do it after a few years. The Allmon Brothers had only been together a few years when they make Live at the Fillmore East. And they could certainly pull it off. The Stones pulled it off very well in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But those two bands are supremely talented. Their live records should come with a warning “Don’t Try This At Home”.

              4. If I had to pick one Canadian band to despise for sucking it is not BNL, it is Nickelback. I fucking hate Nickelback. At least BNL did the theme to Big Bang Theory. The 1:45 version on Youtube is even better than the :30 version at the beginning of the show. Guilty pleasure, I guess.

        3. GWAR is an obvious joke. ICP takes themselves seriously.

          1. Especially when they revealed that they are secretly a Christian rock band.

            1. That is the first funny thing ICP has ever done.

      3. Here’s GWAR ripping off Obamas head, so you can lower your blood pressure a bit, k?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmOvl6lQEhg

      4. What about Blue Man Group?

      5. Seeing Gwar live on stage is actually pretty amusing, and unlike ICP ‘concerts’, they tend to have at least a few attractive groupies around.

      6. Seeing Gwar live on stage is actually pretty amusing, and unlike ICP ‘concerts’, they tend to have at least a few attractive groupies around.

    2. Didn’t seem to set her back much. Must be Weyland Yutani work.

  24. News photos for gun nuts. Are those Galils (or the South African copy whose name I forget) in pic 6?

    1. The wee pot plant in #19 is my favorite.

      1. I liked Obama in the Brazilian soccer jersey in 20.

      1. That’s right. I forgot about IMBELs and how much they look like they’re in the AK family.

    2. How about the Ruger Mini-14 (maybe a Mini-30) in the first pic? Who knew they were even exported. . . . thought they mostly existed to fly under the radar of the old AW ban in the US.

    3. Pic 1: Ruger KAC556F
      Pic 6: 2 SIGs, 1 FAL, and 1 shorty M16
      Pic 8: more FALs

  25. Praise be upon Jack Shafer. Every time he writes a column, Mencken lights up a big Cohiba in Valhalla and smiles.

  26. http://washingtonscene.thehill…..2#comments

    “In response, a spokeswoman for the Smithsonian noted that federal funding is not used to pay for exhibits, only infrastructure, curating of works, and staff. The exhibit itself was funded by a group of donors and foundations.” Doesn’t sound like the artists or art is taxpayer funded, just the access to it. These are pretty well-known and celebrated artists already btw…

    1. … oh yeah, and Screw Censorship, it’s not up to politicians to validate what is or is not “art”, at least it shouldn’t be up to politicians anyway…

  27. Apparently the Death to Small Poultry Producers Act has been held up due to new fees that some people say resemble taxes which is the purview of the House, not the Senate.

  28. Leave LeBron’s mom alone

    Art McKoy will cry out racism about anybody who attempts to smear LeBron’s mother’s name in the mud. Hate LeBron all you want. Tear up his jersey. Call him names. Do you whatever you want. Maybe he deserves it. Maybe he doesn’t. But leave Gloria James out of it. We are appalled that some media personalities and individuals would stoop so low in their hating of LeBron James to try and degrade his Mom. A single mother who raised a son in the project to grow up to be an outstanding basketball player, an outstanding businessman, an outstanding father and a millionaire. We should be applauding this mother not trying to degrade her because of a decision. Again, we don’t want to use our race card but a flagrant attack on LeBron James’ mother will make us use it to the fullest extent because we believe that an attack on any other mother of any other nationality would not be accepted and we will not accept an attack on our Black women.

    1. I like LaBron’s mom. She isn’t a Cougar. She is a black panther. How many other 40 something moms could get it on with Delonte West? You go girl. She looks to me like she has more gumption than her whinny ass son.

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