A.M. Links: Official Results Show 96.8 Percent of Crimeans Voting to Secede, White House Launching March Madness-Themed Obamacare Campaign, Mercury is Shrinking

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  • you can still spot it
    NASA

    The official results of yesterday's referendum in Crimea show 96.8 percent of voters in support of joining Russia. The local election commission insists it didn't get a single complaint about the vote, while the Crimean government has asked the United Nations to recognize the peninsula as an independent country. In response, Ukraine has called up 40,000 reservists, while the U.S. and other Western countries have warned Russia against annexing Crimea.

  • The White House is launching an Obamacare campaign tied to March Madness, which will include coaches and student athletes shilling for the government insurance program and the March 31 deadline to enroll.
  • Rapper Tyler, the Creator was arrested on his way out of Austin, Texas, for allegedly inciting a riot at the South by Southwest music festival.
  • Police clashed with anti-government demonstrators in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, yesterday. The death toll since protests began several months ago has reached 27.
  • Somalia's first traffic commissioner in more than 20 years claims at least half of the drivers and vehicles on the roads in Mogadishu don't deserve to be there.
  • The planet Mercury is shrinking.

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  1. The official results of yesterday’s referendum in Crimea show 96.8 percent of voters in support of joining Russia.

    “Join Russia” on the ballot was placed awkwardly, right under the option to join Pat Buchanan.

    1. Really had to do some work to get the Links this morning, eh? Ed gave us an obstacle course!

      1. It’s Ukraine’s Florida. Possibly soon to be Russia’s Sunshine State.

      2. Crimea is a Red State

        It is NOW.

    2. Hello.

    3. Next Putin will show what a trooper he is and allow Chechnya to vote on their independence.

  2. The official results of yesterday’s referendum in Crimea show 96.8 percent of voters in support of joining Russia.

    Was Kim Jong un on the ballot?

    1. Please be serious. There’e no way a Kim would get less than 100% of the vote.

    2. Hell, Obama got 100% of the vote in some districts in Philadelphia during the last election.

      1. Can we trade Russia Philadelphia for Crimea?

  3. Good morning, me hearties!

    1. Good morning! Is it me are there more Rufuses around here everyday. I swear the damn things are like tribbles.

      1. You let them get into the grain bins?!

    2. Another Rufus J.?

      When I chose the letter ‘J’ I figured no one would ever put Rufus and J together.

      Now. There are three of us.

      1. I was going to change my handle to Rufus J. Floridian but it was too much work.

        1. There oughta be a law.

          1. “Rufus J. *law*”?

            1. Rufus J. Jay

              1. There oughta be a V.

                1. “Rufus J. Jay”
                  “There oughta be a V.”

                  Rufus VaJayJay?

                  1. “Rufus VJ Day”

  4. …which will include coaches and student athletes shilling for the government insurance program and the March 31 deadline to enroll.

    Seems like this would violate NCAA rules somehow. They must be getting waivers.

    1. Just as long as the players aren’t using the coach’s office phone to answer questions.

    2. You can have any ad except something like Daniel Defense.

  5. The planet Mercury is shrinking.

    No wonder, with so much of it being redirected to our thermometers to keep up with climate change.

    1. Tyson embarrassed himself on Cosmos last night when he twice went to the climate change well. He had a few other inaccuracies when he discussed extinctions. And the series is just not very engaging. They need a better scientist.

      1. They need a better scientist.

        The propagandist is more important.

        1. Propaganda gets funding. What’s the point of science if you can’t push an agenda?

      2. The original Cosmos had a tone that was just “look how wonderful our universe is, isn’t it great to learn more about it?” The new one feels more political and condescending, less wonder, less awe. Just a bit of “listen up you rubes!”

        1. That’s Neil Douchebag Tyson’s specialty.

          1. Along with Seth MacFarlane.

        2. Brian Cox does an amazing job of that in his series.

        3. Meh. Sagan didn’t shy from that. The original series brought up nuclear winter (debunked), overpopulation, running out of resources, etc. You know the bugaboos of the late 70s and early 80s.

      3. I only watched a few minutes but caught one of the references. I thought it was over the top but liked that he said it didn’t matter if the polar bears died because other bears would take their place who were more suited to the environment.

      4. My wife called it “Cheesy” and I make her watch a lot of space and alien shows…and she thought Cosmos was cheesy.

        1. I haven’t bothered to watch it, but is it like all those old NOVA shows where they never actually give you any information to learn from, they just show you a bunch of cool visualizations?

          Why don’t they make a math based show where they go over things like linear time invariant systems, differential equations, the difference between calculus vs. discrete math and actually show examples of application?

          Of course, you wouldn’t walk away from the show immediately being able to apply these things, but it might help cure the “what am I ever going to use this for?” syndrome that plagues most high school math students.

          1. is it like all those old NOVA shows where they never actually give you any information to learn from, they just show you a bunch of cool visualizations?

            Yes, it’s exactly like this.

      5. “They need a better scientist.”
        Hansen? Suzuki?

      6. Tyson embarrassed himself on Cosmos last night when he twice went to the climate change well. He had a few other inaccuracies when he discussed extinctions. And the series is just not very engaging. They need a scientist.

        FTFY

  6. Is it that time of year where I break out my World’s Smallest Violins for campus athletes?

  7. Needs more 20,000 Leagues submarine:

    Steampunks at Sea

    On the first full evening of last month’s second annual Steampunk cruise to the Bahamas, I found myself ? in tuxedo and a World War I-era aviator’s cap ? marching in a strange parade past the Deck 5 duty-free shops on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Explorer of the Seas. Strolling with me were 62 elaborately costumed Victorian re-enactors, including but not restricted to: a Gypsy minstrel playing the accordion, a princess in authentic Turkoman beads, a Russian submarine commander, an African explorer in safari gear, some mustached gentlemen in John Bull top hats and, in her tiara, a 60-year-old woman dressed up as Her Majesty the Queen.

    1. Looks more like Steampuffs

  8. Airbnb renter returns to ‘overweight orgy’

    http://nypost.com/2014/03/17/a…..SocialFlow
    John cries because he wasn’t invited.

    1. To click or not to click…

      1. “The worst part of the Internet right there was in my apartment.”

    2. “The worst part of the Internet right there was in my apartment.”

      Clearly a man with inadequate experience of the internet and all it has to offer.

      1. “Airbnb renter returns to filming of party hugeman series”

        1. Damon kindle auto correct . Should be warty hugeman.

      2. Obviously hasn’t been to SugarFree’s blog.

  9. Rapper Tyler the Creator was arrested on his way out of Austin, Texas, for allegedly inciting a riot at the South by Southwest music festival.

    Did said riot involve in any way having people put their hands in the air?

      1. +1 woot woot!

  10. Two men arrested for ‘refusing to give cops their White Castle sliders’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..iders.html
    This is beyond ridiculous. Cops demand dudes’ lunch, dudes say no, so cops beat them with their flashlights and arrest them on bogus charges that were ultimately dropped.
    Then nothing else happens.

    1. I was going to say at least the cops got home safely, but then I realized they may have eaten the bags of White Castle. .

      1. I like White Castle, but only had it once or twice. Krystal on the other hand… makes me wanna barf.

        1. Matrix,
          You are an insane person. Krystal’s are always in bad parts of town and yet I am willing to risk my life for their miniature glory. I say good day sir!

        2. Is Sonic any good? I see the commercials with those two dudes but never had it.

          1. I tried the newer of two Sonics in Athens but wasn’t served, so I haven’t bothered going back. They’re also both on the wrong side of the road for my convenience, because I’m almost never going eastbound on 78 when I want a meal and can make a right turn.

            Our two Krystals are actually in good locations.

          2. Sonic (in the south) is usually the bomb. It depends on what you get though. Don’t expect gourmet, but it’s definitely worth going and getting something greasy and washing it down with 1000 calories of sugar.

  11. The official results of yesterday’s referendum in Crimea show 96.8 percent of voters in support of joining Russia.

    Sounds legit.

    1. Yeah, the Libertarians got their usual 1%?

  12. Female teacher, 31, faces up to seven years behind bars for ‘performing a sex act on her 18-year-old student in her classroom and sending partially nude photos’
    Even though the 18-year-old is of legal age, the relationship is still misconduct because it is between teacher and student
    Emily Nesbit, an 11th grade English teacher, came under suspicion after another student noticed the text messages from her on the boy’s cell phone
    Nesbit’s lawyer Brian Perry said she had made ‘a series of bad decisions at a low point in her life’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..hotos.html
    I would.

    1. ‘a series of bad decisions at a low point in her life’

      Fer crissakes, just own it already.

    2. says another student saw it. Wonder if it was his girlfriends. If it’s a male friend of his, I think that violates the bro-code

      1. Yeah, I can’t imagine any of my high school guy friends turning the teacher in. A girlfriend most definitely would.

    3. The student victim

      Riiiiiight…

    4. Firing the teacher would be pretty appropriate for this kind of misconduct, but I really can’t see how this should be criminal at all.

    5. Meanwhile, Steven Tyler fucks someone 40 years younger than him. But he’s a rock star!

      1. well, he IS a rock star

    6. There are a lot of comments on the story accusing her of being a pedophile for having sex with an 18 yr old. Perhaps they want to move the age of consent up to 26?

  13. Industrial civilization ‘may be heading toward collapse’ within decades because of its strain on the planet’s resources, NASA report finds
    Collapse of civilization may be linked to increased strain on planet’s resources and wide gap between the rich and the poor
    Study says rich ‘Elites’ may be responsible for both problems
    In both doomsday scenarios predicted by study, poor ‘Commoners’ collapse first, later followed by the Elites
    To avoid collapse inequality must be reduced and population growth must be strictly controlled, it says

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..lapse.html

    ‘…accumulated surplus is not evenly distributed throughout society, but rather has been controlled by an elite,’ it says. ‘The mass of the population, while producing the wealth, is only allocated a small portion of it by elites, usually at or just above subsistence levels.’

    Because wealth is money and money is wealth. Wow. That’s derpaliscious.

    1. No question.

    2. In terms of failed predictions, scarcity-induced collapse of civilization almost rivals the Second Coming of Christ.

      1. There will be a sixth mass extinction some day. ‘Cosmos’ covered this well last night.

        The Christers and the scarcity types will both claim victory.

        1. But not in my lifetime.

          1. You never know. A monster asteroid may be on its way. Not worth worrying over though.

        2. You jerk off to that show, don’t you?

          1. He is really pleading for attention this morning…deny it.

            1. Well it has been starving itself after that special election didn’t go quite the way it was so sure it would…

      2. Many civilizations have collapsed because of scarcity of resources. But it seems like global trade and modern agriculture may have put an end to that sort of thing.

        1. Because of scarcity of resources, or because of collectivism? Remember that collectivism isn’t anything new. Those ideas are ancient.

          1. Good point. A lot of ancient civilizations were certainly heavily centrally planned. But without lots of trade with the outside world, a few years of crop failures or disease could do a number on a civilization even with more free enterprise.

    3. Industrial civilization ‘may be heading toward collapse’ within decades because of its strain on the planet’s resources, NASA report finds

      What does this have to do with space or aeronautics?

      1. What does this have to do with space or aeronautics?

        Inequality is forcing us to forgo space travel, or something. Or maybe just FYTW.

      2. They read it in the stars! Seriously, why do we give them money?

    4. Fucking NASA. They’ve strayed just a hair outside their mandate, haven’t they?

      1. That was my thought. Apparently NASA’s whining about not having money to pursue their mandate is silly, they obviously have some money they could re-purpose, if they cut out the silly season stuff.

      2. I am pretty sure Obumbles told them their mission was to make Muslims feel good about their contributions to civilization. Or something.

        The idiocy of that guy defies measurement.

    5. ‘The mass of the population, while producing the wealth, is only allocated a small portion of it by elites, usually at or just above subsistence levels.’

      That explains all the obese poor people.

      1. I like how “wealth” is “allocated”, not that “income” is “earned”. Fucking socialist twats.

      2. Also reproductive rates of the rich versus poor.

    6. Thomas Malthus approves this study.

      Course I’m not sure how they failed to notice that birth rates have already cratered to the point where it is questionable whether we will ever hit the 10 billion population mark so I’m not sure how much more than can do to “control” population growth.

    7. Safa Motesharrei is a Research Assistant at SESYNC and a PhD candidate in Applied Mathematics/Public Policy at the University of Maryland

      How to use math to support your pre-drawn conclusions.

    8. Mercury’s industrial civilization is so bad that it’s literally devouring the planet.

      1. Clearly, someone else is mining our planet. Steps must be taken.

        1. As I said earlier, all problems share a common solution…

          1. Yes. All we need to do is to find the poachers’ lair. Probably in the asteroids. That’s where all good space criminals hide out.

    9. Commoners’ collapse first, later followed by the Elites

      The study did find that a country boy can survive.

    10. Hahahahaha. Totally insane. Is this for a bad video game plot?

  14. In midterms, a battle of billionaires

    Steyer and the Kochs are both digging deep into their personal fortunes to try and influence the outcome of the elections, in what historians say is a political throwback to the Gilded Age.

    Steyer, a former hedge fund manager turned environmental activist, made waves when he announced in February that he would funnel at least $100 million to make climate change the top issue in the 2014 midterms ? a sum that includes $50 million of his own money and $50 million from donors.

    good luck with that.

    1. I would urge Steyer to spend even more! It is good to see the enemies of liberty bleeding themselves.

    2. So, I assume the lefty websites will go crazy denouncing Steyer’s “big money” efforts to influence politics?

      1. Wow, I’m amazed I got through that without falling out of my chair.

    3. What exactly is a hedge fund manager? Seems like they just make a ton of money at a young age, then spend the rest of their lives funding political campaigns. I’d just like to do the first part.

      1. mutual fund = can only go long equities by law

        hedge fund = unregulated. Can short, buy options – anything

        1. As usual, you opt to use misleading terms like ‘unregulated.’ It’s true mutual funds are not permitted to trade in derivatives like hedge funds. But derivatives are a legitimate, albeit risky, investment tool largely for sophisticated investors. A hedge fund is nothing but an aggressive investment and the government does ‘regulate’ it to the extent of who can invest in them requiring an ‘accredited’ investor tag as well as the minimum amounts required.

          Then again, seeing how you cherry-picked to define Stanhope’s political leanings, this is not surprising.

      2. Someone who separates dumb rich people from their money.

      3. Far more fail than succeed but the ones that do, yes they become wealthy at a relatively young age. 2&20; – 2% management fee and 20% of any gains, apply that to $10M, $100M, $1,000M and, well you get the idea…

    4. There has been no warming in nearly 17 years!
      DOOOOOOOM!!!11!!!!!

    5. Like the first comment there said, no mention of Soros.

      Money sure doesn’t buy anyone a clear view of themselves, does it?

  15. Third hand smoke – the sticky brown residue on smokers’ walls and furniture – could be even MORE dangerous for children than passive smoking, warn experts
    Second-hand smoke reacts with indoor pollutants to create substance
    ‘Noxious residue’ sticks to items in the home, including children’s toys
    When ingested substance sticks to DNA in a way which can lead to cancer
    Particularly dangerous for children – who are more vulnerable to its effects as they are small and at a developmental stage
    Discovered in research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/hea…..perts.html
    Doesn’t even pass the straight face test, yet funding for the research will continue until there is enough of a consensus to pass legislation banning all indoor smoking.

    1. Honey! The kids are licking the walls again!

      How many times did I have to clean the salesman’s truck as a kid? The smoke crud was so thick, you could scrape it off. I should be dead.

    2. Let’s be the first to get on the dangers of 4th, and why the fuck not, 5th hand smoking.

    3. Well, if your kids are crawling around regularly licking someone else’s walls, they have bigger problems than third hand smoke.

    4. Just when you think it was safe to eat paint chips.. oh wait, never thought that.

  16. ‘They WEREN’T dead the whole time’: Lost producers open up about show’s controversial ending… insisting the island was never meant to be seen as purgatory

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..atory.html
    Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure…

    1. I think the producers had what they thought was an interesting premise, and then realized they didn’t have any idea how to bring the plot to a conclusion. As such, it wouldn’t surprise me if they sincerely didn’t intend it to be purgatory at the beginning.

      Of course, there were people making the purgatory references when the show first came on, since it’s been done before.

    2. I am proud to say I never watched an episode. I hate badly plotted fiction.

      1. Same here–if I go a certain length of time without seeing the pop culture phenomenon du jour, I end up stubbornly insisting on never seeing it no matter how good people say it is. I only have so many hours in the day and I’m not as intent on trying to divine meanings from escapist fantasy as most.

        The only exception I’ve ever made to this was Breaking Bad, and that’s because it was fun to see Albuquerque incorporated into the storylines. I didn’t actually watch any of the show until right before the final season, when I saw it on Netflix and figured “what the hell.”

    3. If that’s the case, I’d like to know when the characters actually did die. Was it when the nuke went off?

      1. The producers have no fucking idea. They just winged it as they went along, and tried to claim there was actually some unifying theme.

      2. They all die whenever they die. I think dead Hurley even mentions that he and Ben had guarded the island for… a long time. Possibly hundreds of years, who knows.

    4. Lindelof’s face… so punchable.

    5. If you have to explain it, and people still don’t get it, you probably didn’t do it well.

  17. Wait until cities/towns say they want to secede from Crimea and be part of Ukraine.

  18. Gun store owner refuses to hand over list of customers to government agents
    Dimitrios Karras, owner of arms store Ares Armor, says the ATF has raided his store
    Karras had taken out a temporary restraining order preventing the raid, but it was allegedly carried out Saturday
    The ATF says Karras has sold thousands of illegal gun parts and is requesting the names of his customers
    Karras has refused to hand them over

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..gents.html

    1. And of course there will be no consequences for the ATF defying the restraining order, because FYTW.

      1. The judge amended the order on Friday.

        http://soldiersystems.net/2014…..res-armor/

        Backstory, not surprisingly, much better than Daily Fail’s summary:

        http://soldiersystems.net/2014…..der-batfe/

        Reportedly, the BATFE raided California-based EP Armory last week due to a determination letter that had deemed EP’s 80% Polymer lower to be a firearm ? the determination letter was quickly found to be factually incorrect, and the BATFE was alerted to this. Despite this, the BATFE still obtained warrants against EP Armory, and earlier this week also threatened to raid Ares Armor, who sells these 80% lowers, based on incorrect information. It must be mentioned the ATF has allowed EP Armory to go back to business.

  19. Week 2 has begun. Im hoping for a nice short case to break the tedium.

  20. The planet Mercury is shrinking.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson is watching you, Mercury.

    1. I think he’s too busy watching his own show to think about anything else. It’s hard to do too much while you’re asleep.

    2. Climate Change!

  21. The White House will also release a “16 sweetest reasons to get covered bracket.”

    And the elite 8 making your health decisions.

    1. And the Final Foreman heading up your death panel.

  22. Passengers’ terror on Delta flight as part of plane’s wing FALLS OFF mid-air forcing emergency landing
    Panel of right wing came off on flight from Orlando, FL, to Atlanta, GA
    Pilot forced to perform an emergency landing after missing panel spotted
    Delta Airlines spokesman says it did not affect plane’s ability to fly or land

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..jured.html

    1. Damn goblin on the wing of the plane.

      1. If only they had listened to John Lithgow.

        1. Or the Shat.

        1. Never explain, never apologise!

          Goblin is funnier and made me think of this

  23. Why just think of the GDP numbers!

    U.S. Agencies Consider Redefining Manufacturing
    Counting ‘Factoryless Goods Producers’ Would Boost Size of Industrial Sector

    Some refer to companies like these as “factoryless goods producers”?firms that handle every part of making their products except the actual fabrication. As industries have gone global, this model has proliferated from furniture making to electronics: Think of Apple Inc. and its iPhones. Now, there is a move afoot among U.S. government agencies to count these companies as manufacturers, which is a surprisingly fraught issue.

    The upshot would be an overnight increase in the apparent size of the U.S. industrial sector without adding a single assembly line. It would also change its geography, as places like Silicon Valley would suddenly look much more like a manufacturing hot spot. Backers of the change say this would give a truer picture of the nation’s productive capability, because these firms still do most other functions of manufacturing, from designing goods to overseeing their production and distribution.

    1. ERP systems long ago supported “virtual” manufacturing where someone like Apple had control over sourcing, engineering changes. work orders, and final assembly and test.

      They just don’t own the plant or pay the workers.

      1. no shit. Thanks for missing the point.

        1. No, dipshit. I agree with the premise. Silicon Valley is the world’s most active manufacturing area even if the product is packaged in China.

          1. Did I say otherwise, asshole? It’s a matter of discussion. Eat your own asshole out.

            1. Eat your own asshole out.

              Doesn’t that describe all of it’s posts?

              1. I was being literal, not figurative.

      2. You mean subcontract manufacturing exists? Holy shit, somebody tell Flextronics.

    2. The would it be Gross Domestic Product if its not Domestic and not produced in the US?

      And would other countries have to reduce their GDP because the US claimed it?

      And what purpose does this have besides pushing up a number which has little real importance?

      1. And what purpose does this have besides pushing up a number which has little real importance?

        Because they’re trying to hide the fact that most of our economic “growth” has been driven by deficit spending and debt, not actual capital growth.

    3. Backers of the change say this would give a truer picture of the nation’s productive capability

      By truer picture they mean fudgier numbers for politicians to exploit. If stuff is being made overseas, we don’t magically have the capacity to make it here if it becomes necessary just because people here oversee the process.

  24. Scientists create painkillers that could be more powerful than morphine from the venom of SNAILS
    Scientists created painkillers based on protein found in cone snails’ venom
    They may one day lead to development of drug to treat chronic nerve pain
    Expert said development of substances was an ‘important incremental step’

    Quick! Ban cone snails! For the children!

    1. I heard about this before and if I recall correctly, it is supposed to be less fun than morphine.

  25. “Somalia’s first traffic commissioner in more than 20 years claims at least half of the drivers and vehicles on the roads in Mogadishu don’t deserve to be there.”

    Uh…ROADZ?

  26. The planet Mercury is shrinking.

    As with all problems, this can be solved by dropping an appropriately sized rock from an appropriately high location.

      1. It skips leg day.

    1. Wouldn’t buying Mercury bonds cause it to grow?

  27. In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday night, the California Democrat said a drone spied into the window of her home during a protest outside her house, and that privacy concerns for the technology were “major.”

    http://www.politico.com/story/…..04718.html

    1. Why do I feel the urge to file this with Hillary’s “dodging bullets in Bosnia” story?

      1. To be fair, wasn’t everyone dodging bullets in Bosnia at that time?

    2. If true, at least the citizenry is spying back on her. Arrogant bitch.

  28. Mercury is shrinking.

    Really? I thought shrinkage was associated with cold.

    1. It is several hundred degrees below zero on the dark side of the planet…

  29. Somalia’s first traffic commissioner in more than 20 years

    Cosmotarian!

  30. Wyoming welder faces $75,000 a day in EPA fines for building pond on his property

    All Andy Johnson wanted to do was build a stock pond on his sprawling eight-acre Wyoming farm. He and his wife Katie spent hours constructing it, filling it with crystal-clear water, and bringing in brook and brown trout, ducks and geese. It was a place where his horses could drink and graze, and a private playground for his three children.

    But instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor, the Wyoming welder says he was harangued by the federal government, stuck in what he calls a petty power play by the Environmental Protection Agency. He claims the agency is now threatening him with civil and criminal penalties ? including the threat of a $75,000-a-day fine.

    1. Eight acres is “sprawling?”

      1. I’d think that in Wyoming that would be considered a small building lot.

    2. He hasn’t heard of similar horror stories before?

      Fuck the EPA.

      1. I used to think that I’d like property with running water on it or next to it, river or creek. After repeated EPA horror stories, I’ve become quite glad that I don’t have any on mine.

    3. A few decades back, our county commission chairman was the only person you’d have to talk to about building a pond, and he’d take care of getting it done.

    1. Good maybe then the Scots to go back to inventing stuff, and building businesses instead of living off the public dole.

      1. I think they are too much out of the habit of doing that kind of stuff.

        1. Yeah. Scotland punching above its weight is long gone.

          At least they were productive. Unlike the unproductive, racist assholes in the Parti Quebecois worthless scum.

      2. The ones that do that stuff all left.

  31. Bugatti-Driving 26-Year-Old Tied to Penny-Stock Website

    John Babikian used an e-mail list called AwesomePennyStocks to tout a coal company’s stock while dumping his own shares, the Securities and Exchange Commission said last week in a civil complaint. AwesomePennyStocks’ messages about that firm and 38 others, sent over five years, helped fuel spikes in share prices that boosted the combined value of the stocks by as much as $3 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    Bulk e-mails have long-since supplanted the boiler rooms of the 1990s as the most effective way to hype shares of little-known companies. The value of a prescription-drug distributor that AwesomePennyStocks promoted in 2012 ballooned by more than $700 million within two months. After the messages stopped, the shares collapsed.

    1. In the mid 80s a penny stockbroker kept calling me pumping some stock before I had a broker.

      I finally just told him to open an account for me but to buy Microsoft instead of their special stock.

      They refused to open an account for me. I got lucky.

      1. Cool story, bro.

      2. why you could have had an 8% return.

  32. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fin…..rrage.html

    Marvel at French socialism.

  33. Pretty horrific post from a redditor who was a whistleblower in the Oklahoma County jail.

    I saw horrific beatings happen almost every day. I saw inmates being beat senseless for not moving fast enough. I saw inmates urinate on themselves because they had been chained up for hours and officers refused to let them use the bathroom. This didn’t happen because they were busy, this happened because it was fun. I saw an old man be beat bad enough to be taken to the hospital because he didn’t respond to a verbal order RIGHT AFTER he took out his hearing aids (which he was ordered to do.)

    I was fired after I caught the beating of a triple amputee (you read that right!) on video, and I got 7 officers fired for brutality. Don’t believe me? here’s a still from the video. This is one second of over 14 minutes of this poor man being beaten with a mop handle, kicked, punched and thrown around. As you can see in the video, he is down in the left hand corner, naked and cowering while being sprayed with pepper spray.http://imgur.com/I8eeq

    Lots more at the link.

    1. Procedures were followed; officers made it home safely.

    2. The appropriate punishment would be to jail the guards in the same prison with the general population.

    3. There is a link to petition whitehouse.gov to require all officers to wear video cameras. My dream may be coming true.

      WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
      TO CREATE A FEDERAL MANDATE FORCING ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO WEAR A VIDEO RECORDING DEVICE WHILE ON DUTY

      Police brutality and harassment is a serious problem. Almost daily a new video is discovered showing an instance of police brutality/harassment. Studies have shown that when police are aware of their actions being filmed these instances of brutality are greatly reduced.

      I propose a federal mandate ordering all law enforcement to wear recording devices at all times while on duty. This device could not be turned off for any reason while the law enforcement agent is on duty. Mr. President, when Trayvon Martin was killed you said that if you had a son, he would look like Trayvon. In the Names of Sean Bell, Ramarley Graham, Duane Brown, Kelly Thomas and a frighteningnly fast growing list of others, I implore you to do what you were elected to do and lead the way to a lasting change.

      1. CREATE A FEDERAL MANDATE FORCING ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO WEAR A VIDEO RECORDING DEVICE WHILE ON DUTY

        Including, of course, Eric Holder and Barack Obama.

    4. Because LEOs are all unioinized this won’t see the light of day.

      Move along.

      1. Actually, several court settlements have occurred because of this. Unfortunately, the culture at the jail hasn’t changed, and I don’t think any arrests have occurred. Some guards were fired though.

      2. A smart union would get extra pay for the burden of wearing a camera, plus unrestricted healthcare for camera-related injuries

        1. Such as when the weight of the camera causes the guard to pitch forward smashing the camera just before an alleged violation occurred?

  34. The Hidden Rot in the Jobs Numbers
    Hours worked are declining, resulting in the equivalent of a net loss of 100,000 jobs since September.

    Although it is often overlooked, a key statistic for understanding the labor market is the length of the average workweek. Small changes in the average workweek imply large changes in total hours worked. The average workweek in the U.S. has fallen to 34.2 hours in February from 34.5 hours in September 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That decline, coupled with mediocre job creation, implies that the total hours of employment have decreased over the period.

    Job creation rose from an initial 113,000 in January (later revised to 129,000) to 175,000 in February. The January number frightened many, while the February number was cheered?even though it was below the prior 12-month average of 189,000.

    The labor market’s strength and economic activity are better measured by the number of total hours worked than by the number of people employed. An employer who replaces 100 40-hour-per-week workers with 120 20-hour-per-week workers is contracting, not expanding operations. The same is true at the national level.

  35. I saw the Air Force Thunderbirds perform yesterday at the Luke Air Force Base air show. If you’ve never seen them before, it is well worth doing so.

    1. They do put on a good show, but if you can manage to catch a pilot doing a FCF that is even better.

      FCF stands for full combat flight, basically after certain maintenance activities a senior pilot has to take the plane on a shakedown flight that takes it through it’s full range of capabilities before it is certified ready for service again. They shutdown the airfield and he does it right above the runway so that if there is a problem he can quickly get down for a landing.

      Sweetest piece of flying I ever saw was an F-16 instructor pilot putting one through an FCF at Luke, coolest part was when he was flying directly above the runway and parallel to it at about 5000 feet, he reached the midpoint of the runway hit the air brake and threw himself into a flat spin did 3 complete rotations dropping about 3000 feet of altitude then hit the afterburners and popped out of the spin without adding any roll or yaw on the exact same course parallel to the runway as he was at the start. It was friggin awesome to watch.

      1. That’s a new one. I’ve seen plenty of stunt planes do weird spins and tumbles, but never a fighter jet.

        1. Rob Holland performed there, too yesterday. Some amazing moves, that guy has.

          http://www.ultimateairshows.com/

          1. It’s slow stuff, but I always enjoy the precision helicopter flying. Flying backwards while rotating through your own smoke at 50 feet, now that’s mildly nuts.

        2. The F-16 is a remarkably maneuverable aircraft, it is getting a bit long in the tooth and some of the new Russian fighters can best it in maneuverability but it took them more than 30 years to match it.

          What is amazing is how much it highlights just how large of a debacle the F-35 is. Basically the F-16 was the pinnacle of the idea of a highly maneuverable multi role light fighter which is relatively cheap to manufacture. We would literally have been better off making some incremental changes to the F-16 and buying 3 of them for every 1 F-35 they are intending to buy.

          1. But it’s a joint strike fighter, how could that be bad?

          2. The F-16 is a remarkably maneuverable aircraft, it is getting a bit long in the tooth and some of the new Russian fighters can best it in maneuverability but it took them more than 30 years to match it.

            What’s amazing is that the original prototype was even more agile than the final copy before the Air Force gold-plated it.

      2. They had both an F-35 and an F-22 on the ground you could walk right up to yesterday (well, they were roped.off so you couldn’t get that close, but still. It was neat–like I hear about.old.airshows where it was basically a big.open house.

        1. Sekwester did this one in:
          http://www.wingsoverwayneairshow.com/

      3. actually “Functional Check Flight”, but same idea…

        1. “Functional Check Flight” is what I know FCF to mean, and it’s about as exciting as watching grass grow, F-16 or not.

    2. One year when I was at Frontier Days in Cheyenne, they actually did some practice flights the day before their scheduled appearance.

      1. I’ve been to the Thunderbirds museum at Nellis AFB, too, which I’d also recommend to anyone.

        1. I.am planning on driving.up to see Hoover Dam this weekend so I.might hit that museum too.

    3. The most impressive AF thing I’ve ever witnessed is an A-10 performing in a capstone exercise that came from behind all of us in the bleachers and began firing his gun right as he flew over head.
      Second was an F-22 demo flight; that plane can do amazing things compared to F-16s.
      And I’ll take a blue angels show over t-birds…and I’m AF FWIW.

  36. The verdict on the economic stimulus

    When proposed, President Obama’s stimulus was desirable. (Disclosure: Though disliking details, I favored it.) Regardless of multipliers, it supported the economy. It also sent a message along with the auto-industry bailout, the Federal Reserve’s easy money and the Troubled Asset Relief Program: The government won’t let the economy collapse. This was crucial to restoring confidence. The stimulus was a justifiable emergency measure.

    But the emergency has passed. The economy, though struggling, is not failing. The administration attributes its sluggishness to many causes (household debt, Europe’s problems, Washington’s political discord). Maybe. But more stimulus won’t cure underperformance and may perversely contribute to it. By highlighting the economy’s weakness, it may magnify consumer and business caution. Pessimism becomes self-fulfilling. An economy dependent on periodic shots of stimulus is an economy in eclipse.

    1. This economy is not just “dependent on periodic shots of stimulus”, it needs constant spending increases to maintain simply the illusion of wealth creation.

    2. Why was it desirable? And why is not politically favoring certain bankrupt companies letting the entire economy collapse?

  37. In other news, the population of Crimea shrank by approximately 3.2 percent today in a strange proliferation of polonium-laced tea.

    Ethnic Tatars, who boycotted the elections could not be reached for comment on account of an important meeting with the Crimean Self-Defense Forces and the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

    1. “Care for a bowl of dioxin laced borscht, comrade?”

      1. Soylent Fish Sauce…It’s people!

  38. Somalia’s first traffic commissioner in more than 20 years claims at least half of the drivers and vehicles on the roads in Mogadishu don’t deserve to be there.

    The nation-builders have succeeded in making Somalia look like a modern Western country.

    1. That’s just proof of the benefits of anarchy. Here in the land of the free asking permission and obeying orders, that number is closer to 75%.

      Related: why the hell are people completely unwilling to pass a salt truck going 30 MPH under the limit even when the only snow on the ground fell off other vehicles? I hate everyone.

  39. Jonah Goldberg: The Quote-Unquote Presidency
    Obama does his job as if the word had quotation marks around it.

    Even when Obama comes down from Olympus to deal with reality, he does so in a way where it’s more like he’s playing the role of president rather than being president. His “Year of Action” is the political equivalent of Beatlemania (“it’s not the Beatles but an incredible simulation”). “Action Mania! It’s not action but an incredible simulation.” I mean, am I the only one laughing that the Democrats filibustered themselves this week to talk about the crisis of climate change? They control the senate but stayed up all night to talk about how something must be done while refusing to propose actually doing something. This makes a Bryn Mawr seminar (unless they prefer to call them “ovulars” now) on post-modern themes in the sermons of Thulsa Doom seem like a really productive use of time. I think Obama was happiest when he was president-elect. He had that faux presidential seal and, before he had anything to do, he could talk as if his talk really was a substitute for action. Once in office, the talk and action started to diverge and he never could get them to line up again, at least not for long.

    1. I will use the “seminar/ ovular” bit sometime in the future.

  40. Industrial civilization ‘may be heading toward collapse’ within decades because of its strain on the planet’s resources, NASA report finds

    Obviously, the solution is to increase NASA’s budget.

    1. Of course, obvious if we’re using up all the resources on this planet then it’s time to move to another one.

      If only NASA would focus on exploration, instead of this sort Malthus inspired bullshit.

  41. Model Sues Playboy, Morning Show Host For Hitting Her In Butt With Golf Club

    According to the complaint, Dickson says she was invited to the Playboy Golf Finals at the Industry Hills Golf Club on March 30, 2012, where she was to help Playboy Playmates host.

    Dickson agreed to have a photo taken of her lying on her stomach “with her buttocks partially exposed” so that Kevin Klein, co-host of the show, could hit a golf ball put atop a tee that was inserted between her butt cheeks, the suit alleges.

    However, Klein missed the tee and “struck plaintiff on the buttocks, causing her injuries and damages,” the suit states.

    1. “I hit that shot fat” has new meaning.

  42. I forgot to wear orange this morning, dammit.

    1. For a second I thought you went hunting.

      1. Im in one of the few places I cant legally carry.

    2. Prison orange, no less, since you’re in forced servitude. 😉

      (I deliberately went out of my way not to wear any green, although my orange sweatshirt is in the hamper right now.)

      1. It snowed and my only orange is short sleeve.

    3. What color are you supposed to wear if you don’t give a damn about the issues in Northern Ireland but don’t celebrate St Paddy’s day because Patrick was a genocidal holy warrior who essentially carried out a successful Jihad against the Pelagian Herecy and the last remnants of Celtic Druidry?

      1. Fuck off slaver!

        Patricius was minding his own business in Britain when Irish raiders kidnapped him and made him a farm slave in Ireland. The slaving Mics got what they deserved.

  43. I haven’t watched a college basketball game in 6 years.

    But that has not stopped me from filling out a billion dollar bracket. I have Michigan winning the whole thing, based on nothing but me clicking around this morning.

    Discuss, if you must.

    1. “I have Michigan winning the whole thing”

      You are just trolling all our Ohioans, right?

      1. Damn your quick fingers! 😉

      2. There has been a lot of fuss recently on trolling here, I thought I would get in on the action.

    2. You’re doing this just to piss Sloopy off, aren’t you? 🙂

      1. No real fan harbors any hope for OSU this year, so we’re pretty much just resigned, not angry.

        1. I was actually surprised to see OSU had made it, because I had thought their collapse was greater than it was.

          1. OSU beat Mich State last weekend. They are over-ranked at a #6 seed, but are dangerous enough to be able to beat anyone. Probably lose in the 2nd round to Syracuse.

    3. Billionaire Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans are sponsoring a bracket challenge for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

      If you can fill out a perfect bracket, you will win a billion dollars.

      So, what are your odds of winning?
      1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com…..z2wE7y5t00

      1. Thank you Plug.

        1. You’ve got a chance.

          I am sure as hell filling one out. There are 20 $100,000 consolation prizes.

      2. is it possible to create a computer program that can fill out all the possible winning brackets for you? All 9 trillion or whatever?

      3. I’ve argued with some people over the odds – some of those stated odds of a perfect bracket assume you make random picks and the winners are randomly determined. I don’t know about NCAA B-ball, but I did a quick calculation on the NFL a few years back that indicated favored teams won about 70% of the time. (Note that there’s no point spread or odds involved there; you’re not going to get rich betting on the favorite every time.) A .7 probability of winning vs. a .5 makes a big difference over that many games, but still makes for incredibly long odds.

    4. Yesh, my dad called me to ask about picks. I gave him a surly reply about not giving a damn about basketball, but when he reminded me of the billion bracket thing I suddenly changed my mind. Thank you Warren Buffet for the father/son bonding!

      1. Despite my complete lack of interest in college basketball, I do enjoy filling out a bracket. I guess it helps that I won an office pool a few years ago.

    5. I don’t watch college basketball but read about it occasionally. I’m picking Florida, Wisconsin, UVa, and Louisville with Fla over Wisc in the championship.

      These picks are provided as a public service: none of the four teams mentioned will win their region. My bracket is typically blown within two hours no matter how much hedging I do.

    6. All I know is the field is pretty even this year making it all the harder to pick a winner.

  44. Why the fuck does rotating between portrait and landscape on my phone cause the page to reload?

    1. Good question.

      1. This has plagued me for months. It also signs me out if I let it sit for a few minutes.

        1. Android? I don’t have the logout problem, but the portrait/landscape reload drives me nuts. Same behavior for Chrome and Firefox.

  45. Alright, kiddos, my three weeks of real work this year appears to have sprung up. You might just have to do without my insightful commentary and hammer-sharp wit for a while.

    1. Let’s see which sock puppets don’t show up either. 😉

      1. yeah what was UP with this weekend? Seriously. Tulpypoo AND Mary?
        Damn.

    2. Oh God, stuck with Ted S again…

    3. Working on kid #2 already?…

  46. The stimulus… also sent a message along with the auto-industry bailout, the Federal Reserve’s easy money and the Troubled Asset Relief Program: The government won’t let the economy collapse.

    Government economic policy: reward failure, punish success.

    1. “economy” isn’t how you spell “select few large businesses”.

    2. The government won’t let the economy collapse recover.

      Fixed.

  47. Someone here recently.posted an.article.on.an.EPA.internal audit of employee credit.card usage that showed a very high rate.of.unauthorized.or.illegal charges. I.can’t find a link anywhere and neithe can Google. What’s up, and can yoh.repost the link?

    1. is this it?

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..ics&clsrd;

      1. Same story, but not.the.same article. Thanks! I needed a link, any link, to the.story.

    2. (message sent via telegram)

  48. School won’t let boy bring MLP backpack to school

    Kid’s Mom, your son is a Brony. You should be ashamed of your parenting skills.

    1. That would be for his own safety.

      1. Don’t be gay either. For safety reasons.

        1. Point taken, but I hear it’s a gateway hobby to furries.

    2. Hey, My 11 year old son is a Brony, don’t you be talking shit about Bronies

      1. Talking shit? My 9 year old daughter called my 12 year old son a brony the other day and then laughed. That is some good parenting, right there.

    3. I’m a bit more careful of taking the piss out of little bronies after this

      1. That’s just horrible.

    4. Does the school not see the irony of this situation?

  49. The White House is launching an Obamacare campaign tied to March Madness, which will include coaches and student athletes shilling for the government insurance program and the March 31 deadline to enroll.

    By NCAA rules, student athletes aren’t allowed to shill for anything. Why would this be allowed? (I know, I know)

    1. Just think of it as one more government program that those student athletes can work for without pay.

  50. Somalia’s first traffic commissioner in more than 20 years claims at least half of the drivers and vehicles on the roads in Mogadishu don’t deserve to be there.

    Typical government czar at work: step.into the job and immediately begin on day.one spouting scientifically unsupported claims which demand a bigger.budget and SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.

    1. Well, it is hard for any drivers or vehicles in Somalia, what with the lack of roads and all.

  51. GoT commentary (no spoilers):

    Ive read book 4, own but havent started 5, and got the season 3 dvds last week and am about 1/2 way thru. They wrote themselves into some holes in season 2 that they are having to write out of. If they had stuck closer to book like they did with season 1, they wouldnt have this problem.

    1. Don’t waste your time on Dance of Dragons. It’s becoming increasingly like the Wheel of Time; endless journeying, plots that go nowhere, new characters coming in to compensate for the stasis involving the existing characters…

      I slogged through Dance of Dragons desperately hoping for something that made the interminable wait for its completion worth while, and at the end realized that it likely took so long to write because Martin was bereft of ideas and found the story he was writing utterly boring.

      1. I own it so will read it. He wanted to skip ahead 5 years after book 3, but found he needed to backfill to explain things. I think 4 and 5 are that backfill. He probably should have stuck to original plan.

        1. I really liked the Tyrion roadtrip in DoD (lots of drunkenness and sarcasism) and hated the Daenerys soap-opera.

          If you have already 4 of them, of course you’ll read the 5th if just to get to the next book. And there are several climaxes although they are all really just big plot changes.

      2. Dragons lacked a climax. He ran out of space. The Winds of Winter will “start” with the climax of DoD.
        At this point I’d guess that the TV series will catch and end the series first. Martin, if he hasn’t dropped dead by then, will be forced to write an adaptation of the scripts. Bizarre.

        1. At this point I’d guess that the TV series will catch and end the series first. Martin, if he hasn’t dropped dead by then, will be forced to write an adaptation of the scripts.

          I heard that they just had a meeting about handling this possibility. Though given that they also just announced there is still no WoW release date and the book isn’t complete I might “upgrade” this to “likelihood”.

      3. I actually finished Wheel of Time this weekend. I was really impressed by how little I noticed the change of authors, though I was also a bit disappointed by the ending.

        I actually fairly enjoyed DwD (certainly more than I did FoC), but it does seem like it’s a lot of buildup. I suspect after the next book eventually comes out, it won’t seem so bad to read as you can (hopefully) get the payoff. It actually reminds a lot of Wheel of Time books 9-10 ish in that regard.

        1. Brandon Sanderson is an excellent writer of childrens’ books.

          I encourage everyone to read the Alcatraz books. Clever, cute, and exposes the rest of the world to the depravity of librarians.

          1. librarians? like Sugarfree?

            1. I don’t think Sugarfree’s depravity should be shown to children.

              1. Warty Hugeman the The Ponies of Pornovar 8, recommended for ages 4-8.

                1. Will that be a pop-up book, or are you skimping on quality to save a buck and break a young pervert’s heart?

                  1. It’s a pop-up book, but not in the way you are thinking of.

                    1. You’ll shoot yer eye out kid.

            2. Librarians are very evil:

              Few people in the Hushlands understand the power of Oculatory Lenses. Most of those who walked through the airport were completely unaware of things like Oculators, silimatic technology, and the sect of evil Librarians who secretly ruled the world.

              Yes. You read that right. Evil Librarians control the world. They keep everyone in ignorance, teaching them falsehoods in place of history, geography, and politics. It’s kind of a joke to them. Why, else, do you think the Librarians named themselves what they did?

              Librarians. LIE-brarians.

              Sounds obvious now, doesn’t it? If you wish to smack yourself in the forehead and curse loudly, you may proceed to do so. I can wait.

              I ate another chip. Grandpa Smedry was supposed to have contacted me via the Courier’s Lenses over two hours before. It was getting late, even for him. I looked about, trying to determine if there were any Librarian agents in the airport crowd.

              I couldn’t spot any, but that didn’t mean anything. I knew enough to realize that you can’t always tell a Librarian by looking at them. While some dress the part?horn rimmed glasses for the women, bow-ties and vests for the men?others looked completely normal, blending in with the regular Hushlanders. Dangerous, but unseen. (Kind of like those troublemakers who read fantasy novels.)

      4. I read Feast and Dance together. Here.

    2. I think most of the changes they made were probably good decisions for transferring to TV.

      Though I’m not sure that that will hold true with Asha/Yara’s end of season 3.

      1. Tywin-arya in season 2 was better tv than book, but it made getting Bolton/Hoat in Harrenhall season 3 seem forced.

        That and not setting up Dondarion/Thoros in season 1.

        1. Also, lack of Strong Belwas sucks.

          1. Well, you’ll get the 50,000 members of House Martell to compensate.

            1. But make sure to carefully pay attention to the character descriptions of each one! You’ve got to make sure that two characters aren’t actually the same guy incognito based on their appearance.

              1. Seemingly overnight there are Martells everywhere. I still haven’t got it figured out.

                1. They’re even popping up in the Citadel.

          2. Resolved: Strong Belwas == Tom Bombadil.

      2. I like Vikings better.

        1. Right up until the raping and pillaging, presumably

          1. At least travelling involves dangerous ocean voyages and not endlessly walking around.

            1. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer Vikings, if only for the hot Australian models in it and, well, yes, the guilty vicarious thrills

        2. Vikings is vicious.

        3. Then you will love Victarion Greyjoy (if he shows up this season on HBO).

          1. Yeah, he’ll butter her toast for sure.

    3. My largest complaint with GoT is the pace of the story. Yes, characters get killed & tortured, but the larger arc is really slow moving. Of course the way I write, I would have wrapped up everything after 60K words.

      … and they lived happily ever after. The end.

      1. My complaint is that five volumes in he is still introducing new characters. Enough already! Resolve something.

        1. He has too. Everone from book 1 is dead.

          1. Hence the aforementioned 50,000 Martell brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins and bastards.

            1. Yes. I need a fricking character guide for when the scenes shit in episodes.

        2. Plenty of plots have been resolved. Generally with the death of a major character.

          1. I would agree through book3, 4 and 5 are a lot of foreplay but no money shot.

        3. Contemplate this on The Tree of Woe: It was originally planned as a trilogy.

      2. … and they lived happily ever after. The end.

        I… don’t think you’re familiar with this story.

        1. -8 degrees in Vermont this morning. I checked the lawn for White Walkers before starting the truck.

          1. That’s not even cold. The Wall might as well be weeping.

            1. EDIT BUTTON would let me put in the missing “that”.

        2. Doom ‘n’ gloom – I know. I stopped reading after book 2 since I struggled maintaining interest. I am watching the TV series – aka, the easy way out.

  52. How’s that “global warming” working out for folks in the mid-Atlantic three days before the start of spring?

    1. That “climate change” is a *bitch*, Mike.

      1. Especially when snow was supposed to have permanently disappeared by now!

    1. The Obama administration has a way to go to fulfill its promises from Day 1 to become the most transparent administration in history.

      More often than ever, the administration censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, cited more legal exceptions it said justified withholding materials and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

      Most agencies also took longer to answer records requests.

      Most Transparent Administration in History! That never gets old.

    1. So Kasparov has a war boner?

      Fuck him. Let him fight his own war with Putin.

      1. Whooosh! But then again, you are a moron.

        1. You’re an idiot. Kasparov has a long running feud with Putin and wants to dupe the USA into offing his foe. He doesn’t care what it costs us.

          He is like Netanyahu – both have their panhandling hands out to Uncle Sam.

          1. Whooosh!

      2. Fuck off, Weigel. And stop pretending that you’re some kind of investing hotshot, you psychotic lying gutter vermin.

  53. Mitterand’s last meal:

    http://betweendenbighandkeele……eople.html

    Ah. A gourmet socialist!

    1. Top Men deserve the best.

    2. Urgh. They really do need to be bitch-slapped into reality,

      The blog is slightly wrong in that it implies catching ortolans was illegal in 1996 – it only became so in 2007. I had rather hoped he’d been an accessory after the fact to a crime.

    3. To be fair, in places like Finland, the aggressive Roma begging is a problem, and there are people who will immediately play the race card if you suggest it’s a problem.

      1. I was in Florence about 10 years ago. My wife (at the time) and I were talking with the doorman of our hotel when a gypsy kid appraoched – and the doorman cuffed him with the back of his hand and had a few terse, choice words for him. My wife was appalled – me, not so much. Not sure why.

      2. I got gamed and swindled out of a couple of liras by a “crippled” gypsy in Rome back in 1990.

        My brother, sister and I followed her around the corner and saw her suddenly walk normally like Kaiser Soze. It was fucking hilarious. And a lesson learned.

        1. “I can see! I, I have legs!”

      3. I feel bad for any Roma who aren’t annoying criminals and get poorly treated. But the fact is that there are huge numbers of them picking pockets, aggressively trying to sell stupid crap and generally causing trouble. I really can’t blame Europeans for how they look at gypsies.

  54. What color are you supposed to wear if you don’t give a damn about the issues in Northern Ireland but don’t celebrate St Paddy’s day because Patrick was a genocidal holy warrior who essentially carried out a successful Jihad against the Pelagian Herecy and the last remnants of Celtic Druidry?

    Blue.

    1. So many ways you could onterpret that look. I vote for nude with woad smears

    2. The Orange Order ought to march through the Catholic neighborhoods dressed in drag and chanting, “Keep your rosaries off our ovaries!”

    3. Blue? What? like the French?

  55. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/

    Earthquake near LA…not the Big one, but I wonder if anyone here felt it?

    1. It was very noticeable. I’m in the San Fernando Valley at the moment. Nothing has fallen, let alone damaged, in the apartment. But surely the biggest earthquake I experienced.

  56. A plunge in U.S. preschool obesity? Not so fast, experts say

    First Lady Michelle Obama and others seized on the finding as a sign that efforts to combat the national obesity epidemic were paying off.

    But as obesity specialists take a closer look at the data, some are questioning the 43 percent claim, suggesting that it may be a statistical fluke and pointing out that similar studies find no such decrease in obesity among preschoolers.

    In fact, based on the researchers’ own data, the obesity rate may have even risen rather than declined.

    1. Never let a crisis die.

    2. I don’t like fat children. They can’t waddle fast enough to keep up with the rest of my slave workers. Of course a few weeks of forced labor soon gets them fit.

      1. Fat, no, but they do require a little marbling or they turn out dry.

        1. Do you roast, broast, or grill?

    3. I’m confused. It’s as if they want children to be fat so they don’t have to stop flogging their hobby horse.

    4. “Let me be clear. There are some who are questioning the 43 percent claim, suggesting that it may be a statistical fluke. These folks are cut from the same cloth as those First-Family-haters who suggested that Sandra Fluke may be be a statistical fluke.”

  57. Jenny McCarthy asks Twitter “What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate? Reply using #JennyAsks”

    The tweeps do us proud with their responses

    1. No one deserves to die of measles. Of pertussis. Of polio. Of the flu.

      “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

      1. We all got it comin’

  58. What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate?

    DOESN’T USE “SOCIAL MEDIA”.

  59. Has anyone heard from John?

    Airbnb renter returns to ‘overweight orgy’

    Ari Teman, 31, claimed he left his apartment keys with David Carter, 32, on Friday night and stepped out for dinner before leaving town.

    When he returned to the building to grab his luggage, a rowdy sex party featuring “Big Beautiful Women” was in the process of being shut down by building management.

    “This was just so bizarre,” said Teman, who had rented his apartment via the website Airbnb.

    “The worst part of the Internet right there was in my apartment.”

    1. aw shit, apologies to sarcasmic for not paying attention

    2. John has to be older than 32. Nobody can be that crumungeonly after just 3 decades.

      1. I was by 22.

        Humans are just too heavy.

        1. Definitely not John.

  60. Last Friday the NRA announced they filed an amicus brief in support of the ACLU’s appeal of the lower court’s decision upholding the NSA data collection program.

  61. How the fuck does Somalia even have roads let alone cars that should not be on them?

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