Ukraine's First Casualty in Russian Conflict, New Christie Scandal Emails Disclosed, White House Pastry Chef Quits: P.M. Links

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  • Story Accents / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

    Ukraine's interim prime minister stated that Russia has pushed the Crimean crisis "from a political to a military stage" and has committed "war crimes" following the killing of a Ukrainian serviceman today.

  • Newly disclosed emails indicate that Gov. Chris Christie's (R-N.J.) campaign manager was "in the loop" about the George Washington Bridge scandal as it took place.
  • The White House's top pastry chef is leaving the job, and Michelle Obama is "partly to blame" for pushing him to make healthier foods, according to the New York Times.
  • The Department of Commerce announced yesterday that it will relinquish some "key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community."
  • A news helicopter taking off near the Space Needle in Seattle crashed today, injuring one person and killing two others.
  • The Los Angeles Times was the first to report on yesterday's earthquake in California, because a robot wrote and published the story in three minutes. Whelp, it's been nice knowing you. 

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  1. Newly disclosed emails indicate that Gov. Chris Christie’s (R-N.J.) campaign manager was “in the loop” about the George Washington Bridge scandal as it took place.

    We have a new scape goat.

    1. The commenting system breaks and he STILL posts first!?

      1. who do you think broke it?

        1. +1 splainin!

      2. I say we boycott reason until fix their shit.

        1. Actually so far in this thread I haven’t seen any of the issues that have been endemic all day (I hope saying that doesn’t jinx it).

          Maybe the squirrels’ hunger is finally sated…for now.

        2. Seriously. There’s plenty of off the shelf web based commenting systems out there. I don’t see why Reason insisted on reinventing the wheel, especially when it’s obvious they’re not up to the task.

          1. SQUIRELZ!!!!!

        3. Hey, she’s only like a year old. She’ll get the hang of it eventually.

      3. I would have been first today if I had not been forced to repost my comment.

    2. Hello.

      1. *air kisses*

    3. This is a seriously for real scandal, not like those fake IRS, Bengazhi, Fast & Furious Fat Rush made up scandals that the peanut gallery lapped up.

      1. I agree that the great H&R commenting meltdown is a scandal of the highest order.

  2. The White House’s top pastry chef is leaving the job, and Michelle Obama is “partly to blame” for pushing him to make healthier foods, according to the New York Times.

    Michelle likes to sometimes help her husband in killing jobs.

    1. He’s lucky his arms weren’t torn off.

    2. On the plus side, this is one fewer government salary we are paying for.

      1. You mean until they hire a campaign contributor at a much higher salary?

      2. Meh, I doubt it. He’s probably only leaving so he can be back in NY with his hubby. Except now instead of getting a high pressure job at an elite NY restaurant, he’ll collect $250k from Michelle’s healthy food initiative/patronage slush fund for visiting a kindergarten thrice monthly.

  3. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour division district director, Jeff Genkos, accused the growers of minimum-wage violations and declared the blueberries “hot goods” under the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act. This charge is usually reserved for, say, T-shirts sewn by child laborers. The effect was to stop the fruit from being shipped to customers. He then ordered the growers to pay back wages and penalties and asked them to sign away any right to appeal the deal.
    This represented a huge change in Labor’s traditional enforcement practices. Formerly, companies accused of hot-goods violations paid money into an escrow account until the case could be litigated. But Labor ordered the Oregon blueberry growers to pay the money directly into the government’s coffers, with minimal evidence of the alleged violations.
    This put the growers in an impossible spot. Either they could collectively pay $240,435 or let millions of dollars’ worth of berries rot. And they only had a day or two to make a decision. They did what any prudent employer would do: They paid the money, and the hot goods order was lifted.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..oveLEFTTop

    1. Nice little blueberry farm ya got there…

      1. Pay the thug and he’ll go away … for awhile.

        1. Pay the Danegeld and you never get rid of the Dane

          1. You know at some point, it’s time to make some examples, pour encourageur les autres.

            Jeff Genkos is a thug and an extortionist. Why do we allow him to hide behind the cover of honest law?

  4. The Los Angeles Times was the first to report on yesterday’s earthquake in California, because a robot wrote and published the story in three minutes. Whelp, it’s been nice knowing you.

    Robots already do Thomas Friedman as well as Thomas Friedman does…

    1. “Channel number 5…is alive!”

      1. Where’s Johnny?

      2. -1 Steve Guttenberg

    2. To be fair, that’s not a particularly high bar; they don’t even need to pass the Turing test.

  5. Pub in S.C. sparks outrage calling gun owners “losers” and “douchebags”

    Perfectly acceptable. Hopefully you lose 75% or more of your customer base.

    1. Why should anyone care? It’s his business to run as he see fit.

      1. Indeed, but if I was a patron, I would care quite a lot. And if he had those opinions about gun owners, I’d make sure that he would not receive my business. I would also encourage my friends and family and fellow gun owners to boycott his business.

        1. It’s a really, really bad move. Gun grabbers don’t have nearly the memory for this shit that gun lovers do. The congratulatory sales that he’ll get will dry up in a month. The people he drove away will never come back.

    2. How much of an idiot do you have to be to do something like this in a climate that has produced hyper-vigilant RKBA supporters?

      This much of an idiot:

      Pete told The Washington Times that he’s a big supporter of gun rights and has had a concealed weapons permit since 2001, but doesn’t feel guns have any place in a college town.

      “There are cops everywhere. Cameras everywhere. Guns have no place here in a college town,” he said.

    3. “describes himself as a conservative Democrat”

      So a liberal whose traditional values have stood the test of time over eons and eons….since the 1960s.

  6. New Star Wars movie to take place 30 years after Return of the Jedi

    According to today’s release, it will take place 30 years after Return of the Jedi, which capped off the original Star Wars trilogy, and “will star a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces.”

    The latter reference is no doubt a nod to what has been rumored for months: that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill could return to the franchise to reprise their roles as Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker. Jedi came out in 1983, just over 30 years ago, which would bring the ages of the older actors and their characters right into alignment. As for that new trio of leads, casting rumors have been running rampant, with Adam Driver (Girls) recently named as a likely candidate to play the villain. None of the casting information has been confirmed just yet, but with May the 4th ? unofficially known as “Star Wars day” ? and San Diego Comic-Con coming up, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some very big announcements made before the end of summer.

    All that technology in the Star Wars universe and yet humans age normally.

    1. Heck, McCoy looked like hell at age 146.

      (Yes, yes, I know different universe etc etc.)

      1. When I was young, I thought Yoda was a human man that only looked that way because he was 900 years old.

    2. Anyone seen Carrie Fisher lately?? Her character is wayyy out of alignment unless they have commenced serious plastic surgery and/or CGI to strip the extra 30 years she’s carrying.

    3. Now is that 30 years Alderaan, Hoth, Tatooine years?

  7. …because a robot wrote and published the story in three minutes.

    And a teleprompter shall lead them.

    1. Will it allow me to comment this time? It really doesn’t want me to express my love of Agalloch.

      Ever see them live? They’re really good, obviously.

      1. Twice. Once at Maryland Deathfest a couple of years ago, and once in Brooklyn. They’re playing Deathfest this May as well. The little pagan altar that John Haughm builds on stage before each set is very cool.

      2. Live performance…deathfest. SOmething doesn’t add up.

  8. WASHINGTON (AP) ? An Internal Revenue Service employee took home personal information on about 20,000 IRS workers, former workers and contractors, putting the data at risk for public release, the agency said Tuesday

    http://news.yahoo.com/irs-work…..sAs2DQtDMD

  9. The White House’s top pastry chef is leaving the job, and Michelle Obama is “partly to blame” for pushing him to make healthier foods, according to the New York Times.

    Not to get all Tulpa on you or anything, but “partly to blame” was tongue in cheek. Mr. Yoss and his husband have left the White House because Mrs. Obama made him more interested in connecting health with our food choices, and he’s going on a mission to spread that word. So yeah, ‘blame’ is a word you could use. Inspired could be another.

    1. As long as you don’t troll the board under multiple handles because you’re so upset that we failed to recognize your genius. You DESERVE that recognition. You DESERVE respect. And you’re going to do whatever it takes to get it. YOU HAVE A PHD!

      Fuck Tulpa.

    2. he’s going on a mission to spread that word

      Way to go Mr. Yoss. Now just the thought of you talking about food makes me want to vomit.

    3. He took to his programming quite well, don’t you think? Send in the next batch!

    4. Look at a picture of him. He’s a skinny pastry chef. That’s all you need to know right there.

  10. “Earlier this year, in fact, Senator John McCain reportedly stormed out of a private meeting with Syrian Christian leaders who had traveled to Washington to warn about Islamist elements in the opposition. Presumably, Senator McCain thinks these warnings reflect badly on non-Islamist elements in the anti-Assad coalition, whom he favors supplying with arms.

    “It’s easy to support moderate rebels and hope for the best when one lives in the United States. Syria’s Christians do not have that luxury. They favor Assad because he represents the lesser of two evils.”

    BONUS: The Monty Pythonesque battle between Islamic State in the Levant and Nusra Front!

    http://www.firstthings.com/blo…..ma-returns

    1. I see that it was donated, but that’s a lot of cash tied up in a single vehicle. And I’m rather dubious about the PR value of a ridiculously expensive cop car.

    2. Donated.

      1. still probably costs a lot of money to keep it serviced and maintained, especially when it will serve no practical purpose except for “PR” stunts.

  11. “Earlier this year, in fact, Senator John McCain reportedly stormed out of a private meeting with Syrian Christian leaders who had traveled to Washington to warn about Islamist elements in the opposition. Presumably, Senator McCain thinks these warnings reflect badly on non-Islamist elements in the anti-Assad coalition, whom he favors supplying with arms.

    “It’s easy to support moderate rebels and hope for the best when one lives in the United States. Syria’s Christians do not have that luxury. They favor Assad because he represents the lesser of two evils.”

    BONUS: The Monty Pythonesque battle between Islamic State in the Levant and Nusra Front!

    http://www.firstthings.com/blo…..ma-returns

  12. Day 7 post (if the squirrels let it thru):

    Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

    1. You should pay a bum to sit in your steed.

    2. Day 7 of what?

  13. Gun sales tax holiday could cost Alabama $500k

    Because not giving is taking!

    Anyway, these statists are fucking retarded. That money does not just disappear. People will use the money they save to buy other things, which will generate taxes. Also, people from out of state will come and spend money they might not otherwise do here in this state.

    But no, it’s always a zero sum game with statists.

    1. College women take RAD classes, arm themselves with handguns; could cost rapists hundreds of rapes per annum.

  14. Catholic SoCon Pines for Movement to Ban Contraception

    “So how do you talk someone out of her contraceptives? And going even further, how do you talk them into a ban on contraception altogether?”

    And once Griswold and Eisenstadt are overturned we are faced with the formidable task of convincing our fellow Americans that they ought to be banned, as they could be before Eisenstadt and Griswold, though rarely enforced…I would put an “Overturn Griswold ? and Eisenstadt” bumper sticker on my car. After all they were devilish decisions that not only took away the right of states to say no to contraceptives but also introduced the concept of a general right of privacy into our constitutional language, which was the open door through which abortion officially marched and through which gay marriage might also waltz.”

    http://www.crisismagazine.com/…..traception

    1. With abortion, you can claim that the life of the unborn should be protected. You can even frame it in a non-religious context. There are plenty of atheist pro-lifers.

      You can make arguments that say that the government should not be forcing religious institutions who have objections to contraception to pay for it for their employees. You can argue that the government should not be subsidizing contraception. But I do not know how you can make ANY secular arguments against contraception in general.

      I, honestly, don’t see this gaining any real traction. Even mainstream GOPers won’t seriously push for this.

      1. RTA

        1. And get filthy soconz juices on my blouse? Never!

        2. There’s something like 5-10% of Americans who want to ban contraceptives. That is less than the number who believe in UFOs or all sorts of crazy nonsense — even if we suppose that all of those opposed to contraceptives are also pro-life, it means that less than a quarter of the pro-life movement has any desire to ban contraceptives. There is no state in the Union, no matter how religious or SoCon, where the right to contraceptives is in jeopardy. There is literally only one country in the world where the Pill is illegal (Myanmar). The idea that there is some sort of threat brewing on the right wrt contraceptive legality — or that it is even a big deal for anyone outside of some rabid Catholics — requires complete disengagement from the actual state of affairs. Please, educate yourself and stop pretending that there is a bogeyman under the bed.

          http://www.slate.com/articles/…..l_map.html

      2. Why do you talk to “it”?

      3. Fundies (40% of the GOP) consider the Pill to be an abortofacient.

        1. Progressives (100%) believe in Zero-Sum economics.

          Which of these two positions is more retarded?

          1. Be fair, GILMORE. They way they practice economics, it is a zero-sum game.

          2. Also, I just bought a Fender American Deluxe Jazz V.

        2. Uh no, that’s RU486, not the Pill.

      4. I too don’t think it will gain any traction.

        The guy cites ‘facts’ which are meaningless. It won’t survive the first contact with a statistically literate adversary who wants contraception to be legal.

        Hell, the first stat (less divorce if not using contraceptives) is a fucking classic case of the third cause fallacy. Even a complete dimbulb like Amanduh Marcotte would be all over it.

      5. Re: Matrix,

        There are plenty of atheist pro-lifers.

        You rang?

    2. Again, the author contrasts an ideal world in which legal restrictions of contraception could be discussed, and the world we actually live in right now where that is not an option, and instead he’ll have to rely on persuasion.

      Contrast the side which thinks maybe, in the undefined future, it may be able to impose limits on contraception, with the other side, which is *today* restricting freedom in the name of the culture war – HHS mandate, etc.

      1. “Contrast the side which thinks maybe, in the undefined future, it may be able to impose limits on contraception”

        Meant to write ‘hopes’ instead of ‘thinks?’

        1. Hmmm…the word “pedant” is too mild to describe you, and the term which *does* describe you is not polite. What to do?

          1. I hope you’ll think of something.

  15. Dianne Feinstein is the Worst, Most Despicable Congressperson, Exhibit D

    As mayor of San Francisco Feinstein signed off on a handgun ban that was opposed by the SF police chief and quickly overturned by the California courts

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11……html?_r=0

    1. I wonder how many feminist groups would be so supportive of Feinstein if they knew her weird socially conservative hang ups about how women dressed in the workplace?

      1. I was unaware that she had ever been to a “workplace”.

        1. Does Jonestown count as a workplace?

  16. “The Department of Commerce announced yesterday that it will relinquish some “key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community.””

    Does this translate to “We’ll (sort of) get out of your shit on certain things”?

  17. http://watchingamerica.com/New…..-cold-war/

    How do you say ‘ouch’ in Italian?

    Cazzo?

    Now that’s an indictment of Obama!

    1. Cazzo?

      May I recommend not doing a google image search with safe search disabled?

      Or do, as is your wont.

      1. I am now very much glad I used Startpage to search that…

  18. Millionaire gay couple is suing to force a church to hold their wedding

    DANBURY, U.K.?A wealthy gay couple has decided to launch a lawsuit to force their church to perform their wedding. The Drewitt-Barlows, a millionaire couple from the U.K, stated, “We’ve launched a challenge to the government’s decision to allow some religious groups to opt out of marrying same-sex couples.”

    Both attend St. John the Baptist church, a branch of the Church of England, and have been in a civil partnership since 2006.

    Barrie Drewitt-Barlow said that he and his partner Tony, “feel we have the right as parishioners in our village to utilize the church we attend to get married.”

    So, it has started.

    The Antithesis of Freedom is Forced Association

    1. 1) It’s in the UK
      2) Given that the church in question is the State Chruch, they have a legitimate argument in this particular case.

    2. Of course, this is the Church of England we’re talking about–an actual state-established Church. In their case, I’d say allowing the Church to practice discrimination is tantamount to allowing the state to practice discrimination.

      Obviously, if I were in charge there, the Church would be disestablished and thereafter free to discriminate in any manner it chose, but so long as the CoE gets its bread buttered by the government, its services should be available to the entire public.

      1. Thanks you. I kept trying to post something similar but I was swimming against a squirrely current.

        1. Thanks you.

          And then I fuck it up with an extra s. 🙁

          I’LL FIX IT MYSELF TED.

      2. I would agree, in principle, that a state sponsored entity should be all-inclusive. However, in reality that’s a laughable pipe dream. Public institutions are always horribly backwards and discriminatory.

    3. This is what you get when you have a State Church, completely different argument than a private church.

      1. …maybe disestablish the Church of England?

        Just sayin’.

        1. So you’re an anti-antidisestablishmentarianism?

    4. No matter how silly the idea of marrying queens might be to some of us, as Americans, we must be gracious and considerate hosts.

    5. No matter how silly the idea of marrying queens might be to some of us, as Americans, we must be gracious and considerate hosts.

  19. “The White House’s top pastry chef is leaving the job, and Michelle Obama is “partly to blame” for pushing him to make healthier foods, according to the New York Times”

    Uh, I actually read the piece, and the way he tells it he was inspired by Michelle’s crusade to destroy Real Desserts and now wants to spread her message amongst the poor and ignorant in NYC. The whole thing is one big fluffer piece about how awesome this pastry chef is and how awesome michelle Obama is and ‘you all just go girl’. Because low-fat! Yay!

    1. Just what we want: to transform one of the world’s finest pastry chefs into a peddler of oatmeal bars and baked apples.

      If they were serious about reducing weight problems (particularly among the poor, who know that the calories/$ ratio is highest in processed foods rather than vegetables or fruit), they’d eliminate corn subsidies. And commit political suicide in the process, which would be an added benefit.

  20. Putin’s rating at two-year high for second consecutive week ? pollsters

    Almost 68 percent of Russians approve of the work of President Vladimir Putin, reads the report published by the WCIOM All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center. The respondents named two major events as having an effect. 53 percent say it’s the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine, including the situation on the Crimean Peninsula. 42 percent say the main event of the past few weeks was the successful completion of the Sochi Olympics, and the preparations for the Paralympic Games.

    A similar poll conducted in late February also indicated that public support for the Russian President was at the same level of just below 68 percent. This is the highest index since May 2012 when Putin’s inauguration boosted public support to 68.8 percent.

    1. Uh, oh. Obama is going to want to annex Quebec now.

      1. Fuck Quebec. We want them as a troublesome independent nation on Canada’s eastern border. The US should annex the Maritimes and N.L.

        1. I’m talking about Obama, not me. I’d annex Costa Rica.

        2. I’m thinking more the western provinces. That way connects us up to Alaska, at least, and nets us a bunch of oil and cropland as part of the bargain.

      2. More likely Cuba.

        1. Annex or surrender to?

  21. Professional feminists are pissed.

    RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, wrote a letter to a new White House task force charged with creating a plan to reduce rape on college campuses. The letter includes what seems to me to be a strikingly bad piece of advice.

    In 16 pages of recommendations, RAINN urged the task focus to remain focused on the true cause of the problem. “In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming “rape culture” for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campuses. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important to not lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime,” said the letter to the task force from RAINN’s president, Scott Berkowitz, and vice president for public policy, Rebecca O’Connor.

    Excuse me?

    Combine this with the recent push from RAINN to forgo the kangaroo college courts, and feminists are pissed that someone took them seriously. Don’t they know that this is supposed to be just another tool to bludgeon their ideological enemies with?

    1. Uh, oh. Obama is going to want to annex Quebec now.

      1. How is this comment here rather than where I placed it?

    2. Why, it’s almost as if they… actually care about preventing rape… instead of making grievances and pushing a political agenda.

      THE MONSTERS!

    3. If they want to prevent incest, they should close down the Rhode Island health care exchange.

    4. I blame burglar culture for theft. Burglar culture, also known as government culture.

  22. Professional feminists are pissed.

    RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, wrote a letter to a new White House task force charged with creating a plan to reduce rape on college campuses. The letter includes what seems to me to be a strikingly bad piece of advice.

    In 16 pages of recommendations, RAINN urged the task focus to remain focused on the true cause of the problem. “In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming “rape culture” for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campuses. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important to not lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime,” said the letter to the task force from RAINN’s president, Scott Berkowitz, and vice president for public policy, Rebecca O’Connor.

    Excuse me?

    Combine this with the recent push from RAINN to forgo the kangaroo college courts, and feminists are pissed that someone took them seriously. Don’t they know that this is supposed to be just another tool to bludgeon their ideological enemies with?

  23. Only 66 comments after an hour?

    See Reason, that’s what happens when you publish pro-vegan animal rights trash

    1. SIV? Is that you?

      1. :-O

        I commented!

    2. I commented!

    3. Now it is getting out of control.

      1. Yup, it’s the slowest PM links evah.

        I’m thinking the links themselves just weren’t all that exciting or controversial.

        How’s this, then: Over the weekend I was switching channels and stopped on MSNBC for a moment. On there was a panel discussing why there wasn’t a “My Sister’s Keeper” to go along with the “My Brother’s Keeper” program for young black men announced by Obama.

        They kept having data that was along these lines: “African-American women make 64 cents for every dollar made by a White Man.”

        I was pretty amazed, I have to say, for them to describe things in that loaded a fashion. On top of this, all the data shown seemed to imply that all problems in their community were solely because of the White Man. And the panel discussion was just about that deep as well. It was a bit bizarre for a major network to have such a one-sided show, even MSNBC.

  24. Worst. PM Links. Ever.

  25. Man, I have a lot more sockpuppets than I thought. I take off for one day and comments by 65%. Maybe I should get my meds checked.

  26. The Gamefowl Liberation Front takes credit for teh skwerlz at Reason today. There are consequences for giving HSUS a soapbox

  27. Fuck you squirrels for making me post from my phone. Do you have any idea how long it takes to type this shit out with your thumbs? No you don’t cause you don’t have opposable thumbs.

  28. I see the squirrels are still on crack. Or are on spring break.

  29. The Los Angeles Times was the first to report on yesterday’s earthquake in California, because a robot wrote and published the story in three minutes. Whelp, it’s been nice knowing you.

    Big whoop. Fist of Etiquette’s programmer mastered this tech many months ago.

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