A.M. Links: James Gandolfini Dead at 51, Taliban Offer To Release American Soldier, Russia and China Not Happy About US Human Trafficking Report


Credit: US Army
  • James Gandolfini, the actor best known for his portrayal of Tony Soprano in HBO's The Sopranos, has died in Italy at 51.
  • The Taliban have offered to release U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held since 2009, in exchange for five senior operatives being held in Guantanamo Bay.  
  • Russia and China have both reacted angrily to a State Department report that categorized the two countries as some of the world's worst offenders in their efforts to fight human trafficking.
  • Google's chief legal officer has said that the company is not "in cahoots" with the NSA.
  • A group of women from Beverly Hills called "Marijuana Moms" say that smoking pot makes them better parents.

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    1. Well, Obama had better *protection*, nanner nanner!

    2. How does the Beckerhead have any of his rubes left after conning them on overpriced Goldline coins?

      (gold down $70 just this morning as inflationistas gradually realize the con they stepped into)

      1. KROFT: (You) went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.

        Mr. SOROS: Yes. That’s right. Yes.

        KROFT: I mean, that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?

        Mr. SOROS: Not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don’t see the connection. But it created no problem at all.

        1. Are you a fan of the Beckerhead?

          How much have you put into survival seeds, Tea Party agitprop, and gold-plated Goldline coins?

          1. KROFT: No feeling of guilt?

            Mr. SOROS: No.

      2. (gold down $70 just this morning as inflationistas gradually realize the con they stepped into)

        Still waiting for gold to collapse, aren’t you? How long have you been waiting now? $1600 gold was obviously a bubble, but if you think it’s going back to $600, I’ve got some prime water-front property to sell you. (What do you think gold is actually worth right now?)

        1. Yes, gold is going back to $600.

          I claimed it would a couple of years ago – whenever the Fed tightens (which they have delayed into mid 2014 or later).

          Gold went into a classic fear/hysteria bubble. $1300 is still not that painful but sub $1000 will be.

          1. Okay, I’m holding you to this. Out of curiosity, have you put your money where your mouth is?

            1. It doesn’t have any money left from working at Pizza Hut after pying his other rent for the basement, so no.

            2. I have purchased GLD puts twice and sold without making any money (small loss actually). The ride down has been slow.

              But no, I don’t have a position at this time. Today is a big tell day.

              1. I bought GLL and sold today on the huge drop and made a tidy profit. So I guess your’re presumptuous and wrong about your gold bug / Glenn Beck comments?

            3. Scumbag is lying by the way like he always does. When scumbag started frothing at the mouth like two and a half years ago about gold, he never tied the collapse to quatitative easing, he said it would collapse that year. And scumbag was of course completely wrong.

          2. Yes, gold is going back to $600.

            Ha! That big a swing would suit me but I don’t believe it. More importantly, I know you don’t know any more about the future than anyone else.
            The most bearish prediction I’ve seen is $1000.

        2. Gold (as of about now): $1297.99
          Oil: $97.86

          Ratio: 13.26

          Which is in the normal range (5-20). Gold could bounce off $600, but would be on the low side of normal at that point.

          I wouldnt touch either right now.

      3. (gold down $70 just this morning as inflationistas gradually realize the con they stepped into)

        This is the sort of thing idiots say. For every market move, there’s a single, entirely plausible, and yet completely unverifiable explanation.

      4. How does the Beckerhead have any of his rubes left after conning them on overpriced Goldline coins? (gold down $70 just this morning as inflationistas gradually realize the con they stepped into)

        I’m not particularly a fan of Beck’s, but I have used Goldline from time to time up until four or five years ago when stopped buying bullion and junk coins because they now represent too large a position in my finances because the price growth has outstripped the average of the other investments. I have always had good results dealing with them. I tell them what I want, and no, I’m not interested in other products. I will happily use them again when it suits me to add more.

        Frankly, gold can drop below $800/oz for all I care. Do you fret and cry when Mac-a-cheese goes on sale? No! You buy more, right? Why treat investments any differently?

    3. In all fairness, Obama’s speech was invitation only and it was like a thousand degrees in Berlin that day.

      1. ‘invitation only’ … so even a free lunch could only draw 4,500?

        Beck’s an idiot, but in some senses a useful idiot for libertarians. He exposes the fundamentalists to at least some libertarian thinking. It must cause cognitive dissonance in some poor souls.

      2. Was Obama’s speech in 2008 invitation only? If not, why not?

        1. It was not. Probably for the same reason his 2008 speech didn’t feature a giant wall of bullet-proof glass.

  1. James Gandolfini, the actor best known for his portrayal of Tony Soprano in HBO’s The Sopranos, has died in Italy at 51.

    He was killed by Meadow’s parallel parking.

  2. Whitby councillor claims to have fathered alien child

    A Labour politician has defended his beliefs in extra-terrestrial life – after claiming to have fathered a child with an alien.

    Married father-of-three Simon Parkes, who represents Stakesby on Whitby Town Council, said his wife had rowed with him after revealing he had a child called Zarka with an alien he refers to as the Cat Queen.

    1. The truth is out there.

    2. Sadly, far more sane than most politicians.

    3. who doesn’t worship the Cat Queen?

  3. Edward Snowden may be trying to seek asylum in Iceland.

    I hope he doesn’t waste his time learning Hopelandic like I did. No use whatsoever over there.

    1. Did you say Hopelangic? She only speaks ghost.

  4. Russia and China have both reacted angrily to a State Department report that categorized the two countries as some of the world’s worst offenders in their efforts to fight human trafficking.

    Worst? Pssh, out of how many?

    1. I hear they threatened to sell the State Department spokesman into slavery in Irkutsk.

  5. KKK members create deathray
    Wanted to exterminate the “enemies of Israel”. Contacted Jewish organizations for funding assistance.

    Wait, what? KKK isn’t pro-Jewish. What the heck happened?

    1. Enemy of my enemy?

    2. Organizations evolve. It’s Muslims that use the blood of Gentile babies to make their pita now. Brown is the new black. Get with the hateful times, Matrix.

    3. “”””In October, Crawford traveled to North Carolina to meet with a high-ranking KKK official and two businessmen affiliates, all working with the FBI, to discuss his scheme and raise money, according to the complaint.”””

      So instead of the FBI saving us all from another FBI bomb plot, we now have the FBI saving us from a FBI death ray plot.

      1. It’s plots all the way down.

        1. Anybody here remember Bill the Galactic Hero? There’s a scene where a rebellion is supposed to happen but everyone in the rebellion is a double agent of the state. Even the guy leading it claims to be an agent, but they vaporize him anyway. I often remember that scene when these FBI sponsored/aided/abetted plots come to light.

          1. Or A Scanner Darkly, where every drug dealer is really an undercover narcotics officer.

          2. YES! That was funny – everyone was “X” or from some front group, even the robots. That was hilarious.

          3. Very funny book, also an underrated rip on bureaucracy.

    4. Ultimately, with help from the undercover agents, Crawford and Feight acquired the necessary parts and even tested the device that would remotely detonate the weapon, according to the FBI.

      It’s always with help from undercover agents.

      1. One day the FBI is going to get a double fake out from some terrorist who need some parts, and some city in the Northeast is going to pay for the mistake.

  6. Using ObamaCare To Create A Permanent Democratic Majority

    f you have to keep it a secret, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

    But the California legislature and the new Covered California health insurance exchange are conspiring to keep secret how they will dole out more than half a billion dollars in taxpayer dollars to contractors. The lion’s share of the money is going for what the exchange budget terms “outreach.”

    In truth, the money is going to build Democratic Party enrollment.

    1. Outreach dollars to keep California a democrat stronghold? That’s like buying bottled water to keep my pool wet.

      1. But you’re using someone else money to buy the water, and you’re buying from your brother’s bottled water company.

    1. Can we get a wet t-shirt contest?

      1. It’ll just be dudes but sure!

  7. A group of women from Beverly Hills called “Marijuana Moms” say that smoking pot makes them better parents.

    Paging CPS! CPS to Beverly Hills! We’ve got some moms who have forfeited their children to the state!

    1. Yeah, that’s a pretty bold statement to make considering how apeshit the state goes when they just think you do drugs.

      1. Being Beverly Hills it’s safe to assume they can afford decent attorneys.

    1. Until the Martians became a corrupt society ruled by robber barons who chased space bucks without regard to the planet. Serves them right they lost all that oxygen!

    2. So maybe life developed first on Mars, and spread here via meteorites? We could all be Martians.

    3. It’s all trapped in ice under the suface right?

    4. someone obviously shut off the air machines of Basoom.

    5. Mars is done, the nuclear core is spent, and the magnetic field is almost non-existent.

  8. DuckDuckGo Search Engine Gets Boost After PRISM Scandal

    DuckDuckGo, a search engine that claims it gives its users complete anonymity, has seen a 33 percent increase in users since the NSA news broke over a week ago, said founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg on CNBC’s Closing Bell Tuesday.

    “We always knew people didn’t want to be tracked, but what hadn’t happened was reporting on the private alternatives and so it’s no surprise that people are making a choice to switch to things that that will give them great results and also have real privacy,” Weinberg said.


      1. If you’re a decent person interested in searching the web, you don’t go to DuckDuckGo. I wonder what its users are hiding…

    2. I’ve been thinking of switching but DuckDuckGo’s Android app sucks. For now I will just stick to using them for porn.

      I actually use Bing* right now (*barf*) because they bribe me.

      *IIRC DDG draws partly on Bing for its results.

    3. The rap on DDG is: good for privacy; bad for search.

      http://www.startpage.com is supposed to be better.

    4. Any good Minnesotan knows it’s Duck-Duck-Grey Duck.

  9. Mole rates are immune to cancer
    So that’s how Warty does it?

    1. I was very confused how a rate could be susceptible to cancer in the first place, until I hovered over the link.

      1. whoops meant to say “rats”

  10. Ali Larter shows off her lean figure in skinny jeans and a fitted blazer as she heads to the stores

    It don’t get much hotter than that.

    1. What about when she’s playing a hooker with superpowers?

    2. It don’t get much hotter than that.

      Nothing against Larter, but yes, yes it does.

  11. Surviving Siberia’s toughest prisons: The bleak conditions faced by some of Russia’s worst offenders… and how one criminal got through five years inside

    That looks more humane than prison in the freest country in the world.

  12. AP boss: Sources won’t talk anymore

    Associated Press president Gary Pruitt on Wednesday slammed the Department of Justice for acting as “judge, jury and executioner” in the seizure of the news organization’s phone records and he said some of the wire service’s longtime sources have clammed up in fear.

    Pruitt said the department broke its own rules with the seizure, which he said was too broad, and by failing to give the AP notice of the subpoena. Pruitt questioned the DoJ’s actions concerning the subpoena ? had the DoJ come to the news organization in advance, “we could have helped them narrow the scope of the subpoena” or a court could have decided, he said.

    1. Speech, chilled. Mission, accomplished.

    2. Summary: “if only the DoJ had asked, we would have given them everything they wanted!”

  13. Indian court rules that any couple who have sex are legally married… and would need to divorce if they want to sleep with someone else
    Any couple who have sex to be considered married, Madras High Court rules
    This means they would also need to divorce should they break up
    Either of them could register the ‘marriage’ if they can prove they had sex
    The legal registration could be done without the other persons approval


    1. India’s rape crisis is solved!

      1. “Why don’t ever rape me like you used to? Now all you do is sit around the house and watch cricket.”

    2. Define “have sex”.

      1. A handie doesn’t count, unless she puts a ring on it.

        1. The hand or the penis?

          1. What I did there, you saw it!

    3. So what if a married person has an affair?

      1. And does this legalize gay marriage? Or does buttseks not count?

        1. What about polygamist gay marriages with sheep?

          1. What if someone ejaculates into an industrial cake batter mixer?

            1. he married the whole nation. The child support payments are hell.

              1. I don’t have that kind of money. I guess I better stop.

                1. Should you be getting that close to cake batter?

                  1. Who said I was close?

          2. What about polygamist gay marriages with sheep cattle

    4. How do you “prove” that? Collect “samples” just after the act? Ensure there are eye witnesses?

      1. With the unlimited power of magical thinking about laws, of course.

      2. All sex will be livestreamed on the internet on the internet. Except for fatties. And old people.

        Not any more enforceable, but with the number of people in India, even a low compliance rate should yield us some quality entertainment.

    5. Actually I can see a dark aliance of progs and Protestants on doing this here. The churchy types would even allow women to have sole registration authority.

      1. It is my understanding that Protestants are behind the abolition of common-law marriage in most states, and CL marriage requires an *intent* to marry.

        1. Really? I’ve never heard that before-not that THAT means anything.

          Now, no-fault divorce, yes, but never heard anyone (truly, anyone) say anything about CLM.

          1. I’ve heard Protestants worry about common law re: gays potentially using it as a backdoor to marriage, but not a general discontent with it.

            1. “gays potentially using it as a backdoor to marriage”

              I see there, you did something.

              1. Yes, tush…er, touche`

          2. Here’s some circumstantial evidence:

            “Many states have abolished common-law marriage by statute, because common-law marriage was seen as encouraging fraud and *condoning vice,* *debasing conventional marriage,* and as no longer necessary with increased access to clergy and justices of the peace.” [emphasis added]

            These sound like the concerns of the stereotypical Protestants you mention. If the states retain their Talibanesque opposition to vice, why would they reverse the gains they obtained through the abolition of common-law marriage by establishing CLM 2.0, in which you don’t even have to prove an intent to live together as husband and wife?


            1. Well, that’s all good and well but that section could just as easily have been the author’s interpretation as to why the states did what they did. they don’t quote anyone, or reference any statements in regards to vice and whatnot.

              Ultimately, you may be quite correct. I was just stating my (anecdotal) observation.

  14. This Is Bernanke’s Minimum-Wage “Recovery” In Facts And Figures

    Here are the facts from the NELP:

    During the recession, employment losses occurred throughout the economy, but were concentrated in mid-wage occupations. By contrast, during the recovery, employment gains have been concentrated in lower-wage occupations, which grew 2.7 times as fast as mid-wage and higher-wage occupations. Specifically:

    . Lower-wage occupations were 21 percent of recession losses, but 58 percent of recovery growth.
    . Mid-wage occupations were 60 percent of recession losses, but only 22 percent of recovery growth.
    . Higher-wage occupations were 19 percent of recession job losses, and 20 percent of recovery growth.

    1. Obama’s protecting the middle class.

      From any intrusion by the lower class.

    2. I suspected as much. So it’s a recovery and a sign of positive economic growth when overqualified people are flipping burgers.

    3. Wage reductions are what’s supposed to happen. Unemployment is a result of inflated wages (not an aggregate demand shortfall, which is putting the cause and effect backwards), so wage reductions are the solution. That’s why they want to inflate, in order to lower real wages more quickly. But a general inflation would hit everybody equally, rather than targeting the specific occupations where wages are inflated (like the financial sector).

  15. A group of women from Beverly Hills called “Marijuana Moms” say that smoking pot makes them better parents.

    Growing up, I wished my mother was more mellow.

    1. My mother probably would have appreciated more the acoustic cover of Pink Floyd’s Mother I sang to her one Mother’s Day.

      1. I had Glenn Danzig over to sing a little Mothers Day song for Mom. She cried.

    2. I still do.

    3. I got high with my mom once. We were out of the county and it was my 25th birthday. It was a little weird.

      1. I got high with my mom. We used an antique pipe, brought over from the old country. I was a puddle of goo and she was hardly affected.

        Got high with my kids as well. Still do.

    4. I can state unequivocally that my childhood would have been far better had my father done more pot and less alcohol

  16. Study: 70 Percent Of Americans On Prescription Drugs

    Researchers find that nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and more than half receive at least two prescriptions.

    Mayo Clinic researchers report that antibiotics, antidepressants and painkiller opioids are the most common prescriptions given to Americans. Twenty percent of U.S. patients were also found to be on five or more prescription medications.

    I take nothing…

    1. Same here

      1. My Doc told me that a couple of drinks would be OK. So I guess I’m in the 70%.

      2. You both will be getting a visit soon from Big Pharma.

    2. Ditto.

      I dont even like taking tylenol/aspirin/etc.

      I will take a Claritin before entering a house with cats. But that is to avoid dying.

      1. I’m the same way. The last time I took any tylenol or related drugs was almost a year ago after my son was born and I had the worst headache I’ve ever had.

    3. Drugs are bad, mmkay?

    4. Finally found the fucking original.

      1. The rates are for Rochester, MN, and assumed to be generalizable to the whole US.

      2. It’s the number given at least one prescription over a one year period. So presumably it includes getting a few painkillers after surgery, a few doses of antibiotics when you’re sick, etc.

      Even if it were 70% of people taking Rx meds every day I’d have a hard time caring.

      1. that makes more sense since I’ll take an antibiotic if suffering from a killer sinus infection.

      2. So, let’s see:

        Both my kids got bad ear infections; I got a really bad cough that prompted my doc to give me codeine laced cough syrup; my mom had painkillers for post-op care.

        My god! We’re all addicts to big pharma!

      3. don’t forget all that prescription birth control!

    5. A year and a half ago, I could say the same. Now I take six pills a day. Your time will come.

      1. let me guess – blood pressure and cholesterol lowering meds?

        1. Viagra, Levitra and Cialis.

          1. So he goes by the nickname “Iron Schlong”?

    6. Nothing prescription since I got stitches about 3 years ago and they gave me a couple of days of antibiotics.

      But there was 4 years when I was on ~15 pills a day.

      1. Didn’t you say you had UC in another thread?

        Unfortunately it appears I’m going to have to see the shit doctor soon.

        1. Yeah. Eventually my parents and the doc agreed that medicine wasn’t going to keep me from flaring up, and agreed to do the surgery. It only took about 3 years longer than I wanted and now I’ve been super happy with the results.

          You think you’ve got it?

          1. It’s possible, but I’m leaning toward plain-old boring IBS.

            1. Don’t avoid the doc too long. If it does turn out to be UC, you could be back to normal in like 24 hours after being put on prednisone (besides the side effects of it).

              1. My grandmother has had considerable success managing hers with diet (she has some combination of micro and ulcerative). She still goes on rounds of prednisone occasionally, but much less frequently.

                It seems to run in the family so I’ve been paying close attention.

                1. It seems to run in the family

                  It tends to.

    7. Me neither. Not even aspirin.

  17. NYPD unit under fire after wearing t-shirts with Hemingway quote about the thrill of ‘hunting armed men’


    Some observers say the shirts are offensive because the quote compares suspects to animals.

    Well, duh. Criminals aren’t human. They’re animals. They’re pieces of shit. Guilty. No proving them innocent. Sure they might get a good lawyer to get them out of it, but they’re still guilty of something. Every motherfucking one. The ones who get off are just lucky, but we’ll get them eventually. Fuckers. Hunt them down like animals, and if you’re lucky you get to shoot them.

    1. NYPD unit under fire after wearing t-shirts with Hemingway quote about the thrill of ‘hunting armed men…’

      On the back it says “…men armed with firearms with 10+ round magazines.” Anyone with that many bullets isn’t a suspect, they’re the next Adam Lanza. Boy are these “observers” thick or what?

    2. What did Hemingway say about killing golden retriever puppies and beating up invalids?

      1. “It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything when facing puppies and cripples, but against the truly tough it is another thing.”

        “So get 20 of your pals before beating them down”

  18. Case of cop who shot girl, 7, dead while she slept on grandmother’s couch is declared a mistrial as victim’s supporters blame lack of black jurors

    And nothing else happened.

  19. This overtime crap has got to stop.

    1. I’m pulling for the Bruins since I have way too many shithead friends from Chicago who have been insufferable all season.

      But even I was pissed when Boston tied it up though. My varying sleep schedule as of late is taking its toll.

      1. This series could be anything from 4-0 Boston to 3-1 Pittsburgh.

      2. I’m pulling for the Bruins

        I’m rooting for chicago because I’m sick of all the Boston Strong bullshit.

        1. I live in Boston and I haven’t seen any of that in weeks, unless you count people in other cities making “City Stronger” comments, or people happening to wear a shirt that says Boston Strong.

          1. It’s mostly on the sports coverage…asking every Bruin or fan interviewed “What does Boston Strong mean to this team?” type of stuff.

            1. I generally only see local sports coverage, or ESPN at the gym. The local coverage isn’t asking those questions, and ESPN isn’t covering the non-Heat.

      3. So you want the Massholes to have one more reason to strut about, noses in the air?

        1. I don’t come across too many Massholes these days. A lot of Chicago people livei n Dallas for some reason and I’m friends with a lot of them. Fucking insufferable.

          1. Maybe they moved here for the old Dallas Blackhawks merch?

  20. ‘It’s like she came back to life’: The woman who wrote the message in a bottle almost 100 years ago has her story told as her descendents are found

    Try that today and they’ll ticket you for littering.

    1. ‘I couldn’t believe it,’ he said. ‘A part of me said, ‘There’s the old-school way of doing a text message.’ I thought it was pretty impressive.’


      1. …Then he found great grandma’s other bottle with a nude still in it and was suddenly less inclined to make a modern day comparison to the stunning find.

        1. Sexting!

        2. If she was hot enough for great grandpa?

      2. Seems more like spam.

      3. It’s called mail, you little shit!

    2. is it just me or does that lady look like Javier Bardem?

  21. Local Governments Reeling Under ObamaCare Costs

    Yet while private companies are getting all this unwelcome and hostile attention, local governments across the country have been quietly doing exactly the same thing ? cutting part-time hours specifically so they can skirt ObamaCare’s costly employer mandate, while complaining about the law in some of the harshest terms anyone has uttered in public.

    The result is that part-time government workers ? many of them low-income ? face pay cuts that can top $3,000 a year, and yet will still be left without employer-provided benefits.

    1. The result is that part-time government workers ? many of them low-income ? face pay cuts that can top $3,000 a year, and yet will still be left without employer-provided benefits.

      I’m enjoying watching Obamacare implode a lot more than I thought I would. And I have absolutely no sympathy for the people who supported it and are now being hurt by it.

  22. WikiLeaks says Michael Hastings contacted it just before his death. Are they implying he was murdered?


    1. If you see a report that Hastings contacted Wikileaks right before his death, and YOU immediately assume that the implication is that he was murdered, maybe YOU have a tinfoil hat in your closet.

    2. I said it yesterday, Karl Rove may just be practicing

  23. USS Enterprise heads out on final voyage


    1. Just wait until J.J. Abrams gets hold of CVN-80.

      1. The US Navy does have a Captain James Kirk. He is the prospective commanding officer of USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000). Give him a few years and he can be the new Captain of the USS Enterprise CVN80.


        1. Do surface warfare path officers often cross over to carrier path? I thought carrier captains were usually pilots but I could be mistaken.

    2. I’ve heard that one before.

    3. Shatner should command its decommission.

      1. No one wants to see The Shat cry.

        1. “The ship. . .out of danger?”

          “No, actually, it’s fucked.”

  24. The Taliban have offered to release U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held since 2009, in exchange for five senior operatives being held in Guantanamo Bay.

    1 American for 5 Muslims? Whoever said Obama didn’t believe in American exceptionalism?

    1. These taliban guys aren’t thinking this through very far, How hard exactly would it be to plant a tracking device inside the guys bodies and simply drone them to death a few hours after the exchange

  25. Russia and China have both reacted angrily to a State Department report that categorized the two countries as some of the world’s worst offenders in their efforts to fight human trafficking.

    Next time don’t provide asylum to Snowden and criticize the US’s behavior in Syria.

  26. Mother, Son Accused Of Stealing Frozen Gopher Feet

    A mother and her 18-year-old son from southeastern Minnesota are accused of stealing nearly $5,000 in frozen gopher feet and selling them for a bounty.

    Thirty-seven-year-old Tina Marie Garrison and Junior Lee Dillon, both of Preston, were charged last month with receiving stolen property and theft.

    1. Wait….so, “frozen gopher feet” is a thing now???

  27. Russia and China have both reacted angrily to a State Department report that categorized the two countries as some of the world’s worst offenders in their efforts to fight human trafficking.

    Russia and China are some of the world’s worst offenders involved in human trafficking? Or really low on the list of fighting human trafficking? Help a reader out here…

    1. OMG LOL!!!!

      1. What the fuck, squirrels?

  28. Lawmaker on casino bailout plan: ‘Better than nothing’
    Portion of new income in Delaware budget could fund bailout

    Lawmakers appear ready to support Gov. Jack Markell’s plan to use $8 million in an unexpected windfall from higher state tax collections to bail out struggling Delaware casinos. But they admit that it’s not clear the state money will forestall threatened layoffs at casinos that have seen revenues plummet from regional competition.

    Markell’s proposal was presented to the General Assembly’s joint Bond Bill committee Monday as part of a package of new spending proposals made possible by increased revenue estimates.

    Sen. Robert Venables, who chairs the committee, said the $8 million is “better than nothing” for the casino industry, which has pleaded with lawmakers and the governor in recent weeks for help to reduce its tax burden.

    1. What the fuck? I thought casinos were usually grudgingly allowed because of the money they bring in.

      1. Yeah, until they become ‘integral economic assets’ of a given area. Then they have to be saved, at all costs, almost like sports teams.

        1. If it moves – tax it
          If it keeps moving – regulate it
          When it stops moving – subsidize it.

  29. Hang on just a few more years, and live forever.

    And if you thought mental illness was weird *now*, ….

    1. When a brilliant man says something fantastical cannot be done he is almost certainly wrong. When he says something fantastical will be done within X years he is also almost certainly wrong.

      Example: How long have we been waiting for fusion power now?

      1. We have been powered by fusion forever. Well, at least since the sun ignited.

        1. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!

          1. Considering I am a plasma physics PhD program dropout, maybe not.

            1. Why’d you drop out?

              1. All 30 jobs in the world for them was already full?

              2. Lots of reasons. It wasnt the career path I wanted, ultimately.

                I didnt get very far into it, so it wasnt like I wasted 5 years and just didnt finish the dissertation of something.

              3. PhDs require a willingness to just completely immerse yourself in a very, very narrow subject. For years. And you have to take the risk that your results just won’t be very interesting.

                My focus area was sufficiently unexplored that you could pretty well get papers published just by gathering data, but I just wasn’t capable of that level of caring about something I didn’t really think mattered.

                Very happy I left. And I got an MS out of it, and only spent a year, so it wasn’t a disaster or anything.

                1. I hit the same wall when going after my PhD, Spoonman. After a couple of years I just realized I didn’t want to make a career out of it, even though I knew the field was large enough to pretty much guarantee entry.

                  1. I could have taken a couple of extra classes and had a near-guaranteed cushy oil industry job, but all of those are in Houston and I wasn’t getting kids there, so it wasn’t what I wanted on balance.

      2. Fusion power is being pursued by the state.

        (Cough, cough)

      3. It’ll totally be ready in about 30 years. No, really. Why are you laughing?

        1. That’s bullshit. It’s twenty years away. Really, the ignorance around here is staggering.

      4. Since I saw the Saint with Val Kilmer and a foxy Elisabeth Shue.

    2. The only drawback – you will be uploaded to an NSA database.

      1. The possibility of multiple copies basically gives us another means of procreation. I’d hate to be the copy controlled by the NSA, though.

      2. +1 spook

  30. Quebec to spend $500,000 to examine wasteful spending by feds
    The Quebec government is spending $500,000 to create a committee to examine wasteful spending by the federal government.

    I’ll do it for $400,000.

    1. *I*’ll do it for $40,000 American.

      1. $20,000 and some poutine.

  31. NSA chief and FBI deputy caught on open mic

    So the truth can be bought for a beer in the intelligence world? Good to know.

    1. I didn’t get the sense of collusion necessarily, but to me, it basically interpreted to “that guy really could have fucked me over if he wanted to!” which I’m not sure is any better.

      1. Either way it shows that they have each other’s back, which is counterproductive when someone else is trying to provide oversight.

  32. Bitcoin In IRS Crosshairs, Says Government Report

    Bitcoin is virtual currency with no central bank or government. What does the federal government think of it? The IRS could do a better job telling people they have to pay tax on Bitcoin transactions, says a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. The report gives a few simple examples too:

    . Bill is a Bitcoin miner. He successfully mines 25 Bitcoins. Bill may have earned taxable income from his mining activities.
    . Carol makes T-shirts and sells them over the Internet. She sells a T-shirt to Bill, who pays her with Bitcoins. Carol may have earned taxable income from the sale of the T-shirt.

    1. I guess they can try to collect. They will fail.

  33. India to end state-run telegram service. Stop.
    Once a staple of authoritative communication across the Indian subcontinent, the telegram has lost too much ground to smartphones. One devotee is threatening a Gandhi-style fast.

    1. “One devotee is threatening a Gandhi-style fast.”

      Who the fuck cares that much about a telegram service?

    2. It’s funny, but I thought telegraphs were still in service. In hindsight, it’s obvious they’ve been long gone.

      1. What does Western Union do these days besides send migrant worker paychecks back to Mexico, anyway?

        1. Fund lucrative deals helpfully sent to my spam folder?

        2. Some years ago, I dated a Romanian graduate art student, and she would occasionally wire money via Western Union to family back in Romania. But that’s all digital now, not telegraphic.

  34. The adventures of a Libyan weapons dealer in Syria

    He says he sends aid and weapons to help Syrians achieve the freedom he fought for during the Libyan revolution.

    The first consignment of weapons was smuggled into Syria aboard a Libyan ship delivering aid last year, Haroun says, but now containers of arms are flown “above board” into neighbouring countries on chartered flights.

    In the months since Haroun began his work, arming the rebels has moved up the international agenda, with Saudi Arabia equipping them with missiles, and Washington also planning to send weapons to the men fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

    1. firstpost.com? Is this a news site run by Fist?

  35. Dissent Festers in States That Obama Seems to Have Forgotten

    Mr. Obama’s near-complete absence from more than 25 percent of the states, from which he is politically estranged, is no surprise, reflecting routine cost-benefit calculations of the modern presidency. But in a country splintered by partisanship and race, it may have consequences.

    America’s 21st-century politics, as underscored by the immigration debate embroiling Congress, increasingly pits the preferences of a dwindling, Republican-leaning white majority against those of expanding, Democratic-leaning Hispanic and black minorities. Even some sympathetic observers fault Mr. Obama as not doing all he could to pull disparate elements of society closer. “Every president should make an attempt to bridge the divide,” said Donna Brazile, an African-American Democratic strategist. “It’s a tall order. I wouldn’t give him high marks.”

    1. The idea that the most (intentionally) combative and divisive president in our history ever wanted to unite the country… how completely and utterly laughable.

    2. So that would be more than 14.25 states then?

    3. He should sponsor a NASCAR car.

      1. It’d have to be a Nationwide series car, might be embarrassing for all involved if it won the NRA 500 in the Sprint Cup.

  36. Mental health gun bill on FL governor’s desk

    “They will not be able to purchase a gun until they have been treated, and a psychiatrist says they need relief from disability.”

    Um, *what*?

    1. Apparently Rick Scott hoodwinked the entire state by running as a tea party favorite and then promptly turning into a little Nazi.

      1. Governor Skeletor sucks. But Jeebus, the Democrats are going to run Charlie Crist? Crist is Florida’s version of John Edwards, only sleazier.

        1. You run, ProL will manage your campaign, and I’ll hand out walking around money.

          1. We’d have to change up some of those roles. I have more baggage than Southwest.

            1. I’m fucking Hugh Beaumont–clean as Barbara Billingsley’s pearl necklace.

              1. If yall manage to win, any new legislation should be submitted to H&R for comment.

                1. I’m nominating Auric as space czar.

                  1. I accept.

                    1. I think your first act should be to seize the launch facilities at Cape Canaveral and auction them off to private space operations. Leave space for the space elevator, too. Otherwise, you have a free hand.

                    2. I get to decide what to do with the auction proceeds?

                    3. So long as they’re used roughly in connection with your space czar duties, yes.

              2. you know who else got a pearl necklace?

                1. Your mom?

        2. I have a hard time believing the Democrats will support Crist. He’s a total and complete joke.

          1. They’ll support whoever promises to stand between widows and orphans and Rick Scott/The Tea Party.

            1. I wasn’t down on Scott back when he was saying no to exchanges and to more spending. But now he’s fucking useless.

              Bush is the last halfway decent governor we’ve had, and I have a feeling I won’t be using the word “decent” about a Florida governor for quite some time.

              1. I can’t comment on how decent any FL guv is, just saying how I think the Dems will react to Crist v. Scott.

                1. Well, there is a Democratic primary, and I’ll be surprised if Crist gets through that. In fact, even as fucked up as the left is today, I’ll be shocked.

          2. If they’ll support this, they’ll support anything

            1. Crist is anything. So much so that he’s nothing. He’s almost universally despised. Terrible governor, a joke for going to an ambulance-chasing law firm (and doing commercials??!), and an obvious empty suit that will say anything to get elected.

              That said, he does tan beautifully. Almost on a Hamiltonian scale.

              1. Isn’t Crist significantly ahead in polls?


                1. What does that even mean before the primaries? Scott could lose to most anyone. That makes the Democratic primary very important this time around, and I suspect the Democrats will do everything they can to get a non-shitty governor into place.

                  1. “I suspect the Democrats will do everything they can to get a non-shitty governor into place”

                    Are you aware you wrote “Democrats” in that first part? 😉

                    1. Yes, and if it were anyone but Crist, I wouldn’t say it. It’s like backing John Edwards now–only the totally psychotic would do so.

                    2. I think the Dems have been out of the statehouse in FL for so long that they would pick an actual elephant as their candidate if polls showed it beating Scott the way they show Crist doing so. Plus, the national Dems want that statehouse for 2016.

                    3. I think the legislature is totally out of reach for them.

                    4. I’m sorry, by statehouse I meant “governors mansion.” My bad.

                    5. Oh, okay. That’s certainly accessible.

            2. That admiral was my CO for most of my time on the carrier.

              Having spent many hours standing watch on the bridge while he sat in the Captains Chair, I have a very good translator of his expressions.

              1) Initially, he’s bored and wants the guy to get to the point.

              2) When he says “We don’t anticipate that happening” at 1:36, he is desperately trying to not burst out laughing.

              3) 3 seconds later he realizes that he needs to answer the question in a way that doesn’t leave him being accused of being disrespectful, *without* sacrificing the respect of the people who work for him, and concern floods his face for a moment while he tries to figure out how to tapdance through this, followed by relief as he starts regurgitating population stats that are a credible serious answer to a ridiculous question.

              Adm Willard had been one of the top fighter pilots in the navy (he was the XO of Top Gun school and choreographed and flew many of the sequences in the movie Top Gun), and had pretty quick mental reflexes, which were in full display. here.

              1. What are you talking about?

    2. The legislation requires people who volunteer for mental health treatment to give up their gun rights. Mental health professionals want Gov. Rick Scott to veto the legislation.

      That is so fucking stupid.

      Supporters said the bill will only cover people who would otherwise be committed under the Baker Act. Commitment requires a diagnosis of mental illness and is considered harmful to themselves or others.

      Doesn’t the Baker Act require you to be adjudicated mentally deficient? Or am I thinking of something else?

      1. Yup.

        This will be found unconstitutional, straight up.

        5th, 6th, 7th amendments.

        You can’t impose a criminal or civil penalty (and this by definition has to be one or the other) without due process (5th), defined as a jury trial (6th and 7th).

        1. I don’t think so, it will be treated not as a penalty but as a preventive public safety measure.

          It’s an awfully stupid law but it will pass constitutional muster.

  37. Obamas taken down by a nice Irish lass.

    1. I would like to share a pint or 2 with her.

    2. Why can’t we have Irish people like that?

      1. Because big-city Democrats bought up the Mics as soon as they landed in New York and Boston.

      2. What, Grand poobahs of far Left democratic socialist parties? I believe we have more than our fair share of Ms. Daly-s

  38. As I get older, I realize that I should have kept better records of the people over the years to whom I promised I would desecrate their graves.

    1. Clap. Clap. Clap.

    2. oh I have a list… a secret list.

    3. When the time arrives, you’ll remember.

      1. There is a big difference between stumbling drunk thru a graveyard and coming across a target of opportunity and actively seeking them out.

        1. Yes. I also promised them a laser-like focus.

    4. There’s this recruit who is getting a hard time from the drill sergeant who says to him “I bet when I die you’re going to piss on my grave” to which the recruit replies “No Sergeant! When I get out of here I will never stand in line again!”

      1. He’d better have said “No DRILL Sergeant” or he’d still be doing pushups.

  39. had my fire department meeting last night. apparently the time to complete a background check to volunteer or be hired by the department is delayed from 30 days to 90 or more. the reason is the VA state police is inundated with new applications for concealed weapons permits.

    1. I can imagine.

      I just got my Virginia Nonresident permit recently because a) it is good in 25 states (besides the ones where no permit is required) and b) they accept a DD214 (honorable discharge) in lieu of a training course so I was able to do it all through the mail.

  40. Massachusetts state police drug test lab abuses apparently happened in other states, too.


    Who wants to bet that every last police drug lab in the country is dirty? Every last one?

    1. I’m sure they all are. Two years ago our county crime lab was investigated by the state police. They discovered that not only did officers routinely keep evidence in inappropriate locations for extended periods of time but pretty much anyone could just wander around the evidence storage area.

      1. “You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is.” -’bout whether some organic matter is an illegal drug or not.

  41. from the 24/7 Newsfeed: Lawsuit Claims Texas Jailers Ran Rape Camp

    Damn Republicans!

    1. Warty is a Texas jailer?

    2. “Rape Camp”

      Definitely not sending my kids there this summer.

    3. Yeah, the perps (guards) have already been convicted – this is the follow up civil suit. Bastards.


  42. I should have kept better records of the people over the years to whom I promised I would desecrate their graves.

    This will not be an acceptable reason for travel in the shining new American future of internal passports administered by DHS.

  43. Google admits those infamous brainteasers were completely useless for hiring

    Google has admitted that the headscratching questions it once used to quiz job applicants (How many piano tuners are there in the entire world? Why are manhole covers round?) were utterly useless as a predictor of who will be a good employee.

    “We found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time,” Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, told the New York Times. “They don’t predict anything. They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart.”

    1. I think some of the questions, that were more algorithmic, were probably useful.

      1. What a pointless exercise. I’d ask the subject to provide me with pi to seven hundred digits. From the subject’s head.

        1. 3. I rounded it down.

          1. Not acceptable. Please leave and never come back.

            1. It worked for King Solomon the Wise.

        2. I only got 6 digits. That’s what software is for.

          1. The Bible tells us it’s 3.1415926, and that’s good enough for me.

            1. I can get to 3.14159625.

              1. So you’re saying this test was rigged?

                1. No. Warty is of a heretical sect, which commits the vile heresy of rounding the infinite.

                  1. You might want to recheck your work. We are about to crash into the moon.

                    1. Dammit. I’m always inverting my 6s and 2s.

                    2. Famous last words.

          2. I’m also disappointed you didn’t derive the figure geometrically.

    2. Manhole covers are round because they are the steaming buttholes of the city.

      1. You’re hired!

        Everyone, come meet our new VP of public relations!

        1. Because square manhole covers are very difficult to play Ultimate Frisbee with.

    3. “They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart” so….like every other job interviewer.
      It’s bizarre to me that so many people believe that anything remotely objective goes on in any hiring process.

      1. It really comes down to whether they like you or not, most of the time.

  44. Largest “ex-gay” organization finally realizes you can’t “cure” homosexuality and shuts down after apologizing to the LGBT community:


    1. Yay!

      Alan Chambers has been stumbling in this direction for quite a while now. Does this mean they’re killing the Love Won Out traveling circus too?

  45. Health benefits of having a beard

    Guess I should stop shaving, then.

    1. You know, my girlfriend has increased in sex drive lately. Which does happen to coincide with this (crappy) playoff beard I have going.

      1. It’s true. Chicks dig bears. I mean beards.

        1. Well, I’m also not fat, so that could help.

          1. Yes, getting fat would definitely help.

          2. I’m not sure I’d call Brandon Lilly fat. At least not to his face.

            1. Looks like he’s got a lot of muscle. But he also has a lot of gut.

              1. “Looks like”???

                He’s a lot less fat now than he was a year ago, too. And even in that picture, I’d bet he has a lower body fat percentage than most people here. He’s just a gigantic roided-out monster who is also incredibly nice.

  46. Hockeytown? Local Detroit affiliate to show fireworks instead of Stanley Cup game 6.Yes, fireworks. Because they are so awesome to watch on TV…

    1. Well, I don’t think most people in Detroit could bear watching the Blackhawks in the finals. Showing fireworks instead should stop the entire city of Detroit from committing collective suicide.

  47. A group of women from Beverly Hills called “Marijuana Moms” say that smoking pot makes them better parents.

    I’ve met quite a few mothers who could probably benefit from chilling out for a minute. Mostly of the variety who seems to think the world revolves around their precious little snowflake.

    1. It’s the one thing I think we can all agree on.

    2. Simple and to the point.

  48. FCC jackboots! And it’s Tulpa-rific!


    Q: The FCC Agent standing at my door does not have a search warrant, so I don’t have to let him in, right?

    A: Wrong. Search warrants are needed for entry involving criminal matters. One of the requirements as a licensee, or non-licensee subject to the Commission’s Rules, is to allow inspection of your radio equipment by FCC personnel. Whether you operate an amateur station or any other radio device, your authorization from the Commission comes with the obligation to allow inspection. Even radio stations licensed under a “blanket” rule or approval, such as Citizen’s Band (CB) Radio, are subject to the Commission’s inspection requirement.

    Huh. My copy of the Constitution doesn’t seem to include that magic language restricting the 4th Amendment to criminal matters.

    Q: Well then, if I am a low-power broadcaster and don’t have an FCC license, they need a search warrant, right?

    A: Wrong again. The FCC agents have the authority to inspect all radio equipment; even if you do not have a license, the FCC can still inspect your equipment. Section 303(n) of the Act gives the FCC the right to inspect all “stations required to be licensed.” This language covers your low-power radio station. The FCC agents are inspecting the equipment, not searching your house.

    1. Q: The FCC Agent said that I had to allow inspection of my radio station without unnecessary delay. What does “without unnecessary delay” mean?

      A: Immediate on-the-spot inspections are generally necessary. In most cases, any delay can result in changed conditions of the transmitting equipment or its operation, adversely affecting the efficacy of the inspections. For that reason, Agents cannot return at a later time to accommodate the operator, cannot wait for the operator to make any adjustments to the equipment, and cannot spend time repeating the reasons for the inspection.

      Q: Why don’t the FCC’s agents have to make an appointment with me to inspect my equipment?

      A: The Commission has no means of determining whether a station is being operated as licensed except through immediate on-the-spot inspection. To establish the amount of operating power of a station, the input power of the last radio stage of the transmitter must be actually measured with test equipment. To delay an inspection for the convenience of a licensee would allow the licensee time in which to modify or restore the transmitter to its licensed condition, thus permitting the licensee to avoid detection. This same theory also applies in the case of whether a station is operating with an unapproved type of transmitter.

      Oh noez! The licensee could become compliant! Can’t have that.

      1. I wonder how many other realms in our everyday lives have agencies with this kind of power. I know the EPA has similar powers.

        hell, why don’t the police, FBI, DEA, BATF and other similar agencies just ask help from FCC and other such agencies to just have surprise inspections, and make note of contraband or suspicious things that fall under the jurisdiction of the above agencies. Then they give this information to those agencies, so they can use this information to make arrests and seize property and licenses. Would be easier than trying to convince a judge to give you a warrant without probably cause.

        1. No, those agencies are just there for the protection of the FCC/EPA/milk board inspectors, not to look for criminal activity. But they can’t ignore any illegality they witness, unlike Secret Service agents.

    2. Wait, am I reading that right? Because I own a CB radio, the FCC can just come into my house to inspect it anytime they like?

      1. Yes. It’s covered under the FYTW Clause of the US Constitution. You probably didn’t see it because it is written in invisible ink.

      2. Yes,

        And, you can thank that statist asshole Herbert Hoover for that lovely piece of intrusive government.

      3. Is wifi licensed by the FCC?

    3. Huh. My copy of the Constitution doesn’t seem to include that magic language restricting the 4th Amendment to criminal matters.


      1. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

        So the mention of Warrant was just because of songs like Cherry Pie?

  49. US Military to Destroy/Abandon $7 Billion Worth of Equipment in Afghanistan

    Military planners have determined that they will not ship back more than $7 billion worth of equipment ? about 20 percent of what the U.S. military has in Afghanistan ? because it is no longer needed or would be too costly to ship back home.


    1. Hopefully they bring the dogs back

      1. Nah they’ll just use them for target practice. A fair number of those soldiers will probably end up becoming police officers when they get back. So they’ll need to become proficient at shooting dogs.

  50. Anyone getting friends posting about a breathtaking McDonald’s story that is only 14 years old?

  51. My long, living nightmare of building a web site for Himself and his “legacy” program may soon be over! Hallelujah! Praise Zod!

    1. Are they scrapping the project and just putting up a picture of a steaming pile of crap or did they finally get through all the “decision making” and approve a final design?

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