A.M. Links: Indians Head to the Polls, House Republicans Accuse Lerner of Breaking IRS Rules, Obama Wants a 'Congress That Works'

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Credit: Furfur/wikimedia
  • Indians are heading to the polls on the first big day of the general election. More than 814 million Indians are eligible to vote in the nine-phase election, which began on April 7 and will end on May 12.
  • House Republicans have accused Lois Lerner, the former director of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division at the IRS, of breaking agency rules by pushing for Crossroads GPS, the nonprofit founded by Karl Rove, to be denied tax-exempt status. The House Ways and Means Committee voted yesterday along party lines to send a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder recommending the Department of Justice take Lerner to court.
  • Turkish authorities have maintained a ban on YouTube despite a court ordering that the ban be lifted.
  • Russia's Foreign Ministry says that NATO is using the crisis in Ukraine as an excuse to increase its appeal and justify its existence.
  • The search area for MH370 is shrinking after an Australian ship picked up two signals consistent with the so-called "black box."
  • President Obama told donors yesterday that he wants a "Congress that works" and cited the ongoing fight over immigration reform as an example of politics being considered more seriously than policy.  

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  1. The House Ways and Means Committee voted yesterday along party lines to send a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder recommending the Department of Justice take Lerner to court.

    Open purse, remove balls, huh, Congress?

    1. Hello.

      Obama has been saying he wants a ‘Congress that works’ for five years now.

      When does he look in the mirror?

      1. Well I guess congress could say they want a president that works, but that would be racist.

        1. mumble mumble mumble under his work boots mumble mumble

        2. President Obama walks into the Bank of America to cash a check. He approached the cashier, “Good morning, could you please cash this check for me?”

          Cashier:
          “My pleasure sir. May I see your ID?”

          Obama:
          “I didn’t bring my ID with me as I didn’t think there was any need to. I am Barack Obama,President of the United States!”

          Cashier:
          “Yes sir, I know who you are, but with all the regulations and monitoring of the banks because of impostors, forgers and requirements of the Dodd /Frank legislation, etc., I must insist on seeing your ID.

          Obama:
          “Just ask anyone who I am and they will tell you. Everybody knows who I am.”

          Cashier:
          “I am sorry Mr. President but these are the bank rules and I must follow them.”

          Obama:
          “I order you to cash this check!”

          Cashier:
          “Look Mr. President, here is an example of what we can do.One day, Tiger Woods came into the bank without ID. To prove he was Tiger Woods he took his putter and made a beautiful shot across the bank into a cup. With that shot we knew he was Tiger Woods and cashed his check.

          Another time, Andre Agassi came in without ID. He pulled out his tennis racquet and made a fabulous shot and the ball landed in my cup. So we cashed his check.

          So, Mr. President, what can you do to prove that it is you, and only you, as President of the United States?”

          Obama stands there and finally says, “Honestly, I don’t have a clue what to do.”

          Cashier:
          “Will that be large or small bills, Mr. President?

      2. A “working” Congress would have impeached and removed about fifty people from the administration, including the president.

        1. They might have been too busy removing laws and regulations to get to that.

          1. No, that’s the easy part. Bonfire of the Inanities.

            1. You’re gonna need a bigger fire.

              1. Firestorm of the inanities?

                  1. This would be a good start. Or for that matter, the fate of every Japanese city on LeMay’s target list.

      3. Someone else here on Hit & Run, I can’t remember who or else I would credit that poster, pointed out that the JFK assassination “worked” for the definition of “worked” that means “remove a sitting president from office”.

        Obama needs to define “works”.

      4. When does he look in the mirror?

        Mirror mirror on the wall who is the most obstructionist of them all?

    2. My “favorite”:

      House Republicans won’t rule out arresting Lois Lerner if Justice Department doesn’t

      In a further show of determined leadership, they *have* ruled out arresting Bugs Bunny.

    3. Can’t they find Lerner in contempt of Congress?

      1. Pretty cheesy goal by Chelsea. Damn, PSG. Ibra could have made the difference. They were way too conservative. Bayern proved itself too much. Even at 0-1 I wasn’t convinced United had a shot. What was up with having Rooney – despite an injury – playing defensively?

        Atletico is on a tear.

        1. I just wish Bayern would give me a nice relaxing tie. Kind of like last year’s semi which was a foregone conclusion after the 4-0 against Bar?a in the first leg.

          Of course, they’re not beating Bar?a this year. 🙂

          1. It’s soccer. The last time Milan gave me a nice relaxing tie was in the 1990s. Only dominant teams do that – and even then. I’m still stunned about 2005. Total control of Liverpool and they lose it thanks to 10 minutes of madness.

            My buddies and always complain about that, though, with the Azzurri. Always take the hard way out.

            Anyway, it really is up for grabs this year – Chelsea included. But I don’t think they’d have a real shot at the other three teams.

            1. and me.

            2. Don’t get me started on the ’99 CL Final. 🙁

        2. That first 20 mins of the Barca-Atletico game was fantastic.

          1. Yes it was.

            Atletico knows how to play Barca.

            And boy are they physical. Remind me of a Serie A side.

  2. Russia’s Foreign Ministry says that NATO is using the crisis in Ukraine as an excuse to increase its appeal and justify its existence.

    It’s called crisitunity management.

    1. Invade one neighbor, and the rest of your neighbors start looking at you funny? Who’d a thunk?

  3. President Obama told donors yesterday that he wants a “Congress that works” and cited the ongoing fight over immigration reform as an example of politics being considered more seriously than policy.

    AKA a rubberstamping scapegoat for his fantasies.

  4. and cited the ongoing fight over immigration reform as an example of politics being considered more seriously than policy.

    What was Reid and Obama’s shutdown of the government; chopped liver?

    1. What was Reid and Obama’s the evil obstructionist teathuglicans’ shutdown of the government; chopped liver?

      Fixed it for you, heretic.

      1. That is sign you are truly TEAM RED – when you blame Cruz’ carnival government shutdown on Reid and Obama.

        1. Cruz’ carnival government shutdown

          If only he really had that kind of power.

        2. Yeah, the government is run single-handedly by the most junior member of the Senate.

          1. And not at all by the Obamessiah, who still gets the credit for everything.

  5. After personally meeting with the two liberal outfits, Ms. Lerner contacted the director of the Exempt Organizations Examinations Unit in Dallas to ask why Crossroads had not been audited. link

  6. Indians are heading to the polls on the first big day of the general election.

    Don’t they call it a pow-wow?

    1. ‘Indians are heading to the poles.’

      Now that I’d pay to watch.

      1. Canadian Ballet?

    2. No. It’s called chunaav, which means choice. Like the choice between a douche bag and turd sandwich.

  7. ?Trash & treasure: Hong Kong cops scour landfill for $3.7mn painting

    Police in Hong Kong are searching through a landfill site after cleaners allegedly tossed a multi-million dollar painting in the trash. The ink-wash painting ‘Snowy Mountain’ had been auctioned off the day before for US$3.7 million.

    The painting, by Chinese artist Cui Ruzhou, was reported missing to the police on Tuesday amid reports it had been thrown out by cleaners in Hong Kong’s Grand Hyatt Hotel. Police, trawling through CCTV camera history, later discovered footage of a security guard kicking a package containing the valuable piece of artwork towards a pile of rubbish.

    Hotel cleaners were then caught on camera throwing out the rubbish, which is thought to have been sent to a landfill site at Tuen Mun in the north-west of Hong Kong, reports the South China Morning Post. Police have registered the painting as ‘lost property’ for the time being and have not ruled out the possibility it could have been stolen.

    1. Eye of the beholder, etc., that’s not a very attractive painting.

      Maybe it looks better in person.

  8. “Eric Holder strays from planned remarks”

    The last five years have been defined by significant strides and by lasting reforms even in the face, even in the face of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity,” Holder said. “If you don’t believe that, you look at the way ? forget about me, forget about me. You look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee ? has nothing to do with me, forget that. What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”

    Hank Aaron agrees

    http://www.politico.com/story/…..z2yUJtepFy

    1. The initials R.M.S. ring a bell?

      1. Rod M-something Stewart?

        1. Rod Stewart’s memoirs are excellent, by the way.

          This was the 1980s, the era of big hair. It was simply in the air at that time: the circumference of your hairdo expanded by at least four inches in about 1982 and stayed that way for three or four years, whether you wanted it to or not. It was something to do with the economy, probably

      2. Royal Mail Ship?

    2. Well, more presidents and attorney generals should have had to deal with that kind of treatment and worse.

      1. Yeah, it sucks to find out he is such an ignorant jackass.

        1. He’s from Georgia like PB. What do you expect?

    3. ‘It couldn’t be my job performance they were grilling me about, it must have been..uh.. my race! Yeah, it was about my race!’

    4. What a thin-skinned pussy.

      If you’re going to play hardball politics, you need to grow a pair Eric.

  9. Florida becomes the first state to file charges of money laundering involving bitcoin in what could be the digital currency’s moment of truth

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

    1. Remember that Florida Man also makes up the ranks of police and prosecutors in this great state.

  10. They lied:

    Obamacare website goes down just hours before deadline to enroll for coverage

    More Puzzling Obamacare Numbers
    …In fact, we know that at least one midpoint is quite far from the truth, because there is no way to reconcile the 3.9 million people it says bought exchange policies with the Barack Obama administration’s official data showing that 7.3 million had selected exchange plans by the end of March. Even if we factor in the three days the survey missed — which saw a titanic surge in enrollments — and even if we assume that only 80 percent of the people who selected a plan have actually paid for it, 3.9 million is too small. Well before data collection ended, the administration had already announced that plan signups had hit 6 million. Even with attrition of 20 percent, that should still have yielded 4.8 million marketplace policies in the RAND study. And indeed, 4.8 million is within its margin of error, though at the very high end….

    1. They lied:

      Here is my shocked face.

      1. For the love of god, don’t post a selfie of your vinegar shot!

    2. What a mess.

    3. McCardle is either a complete nitwit or trolling her liberal readers. Later in that piece she wonders how so many people with employee health insurance have lost their insurance even though the mandates have been postponed. Either she hasn’t seen or doesn’t understand the significance of the millions of workers who used to be full time and are now part time thanks to Obamacare. Those people in many cases lost their health insurance coverage as a result of being demoted to part time.

      1. Just remember, those Democrats are just too well-educated and therefore prone to these types of political mistakes.

        1. What bugs me so much about McArdle, even though I often agree with her, is that she is incapable of admitting that liberals sometimes are completely wrong. Her move is to write about some appallingly stupid liberal policy, point out mostly how horrible it is, but then explain how liberals still are not that bad.

          1. Beltway parties

      2. Trolling. She’s walking them down a path of earnest discovery rather than adversarial polemics that they can dismiss out of hand.

      3. millions of workers who used to be full time and are now part time thanks to Obamacare.

        Back to lying, John?

        Really, the labor statistics show the opposite.

        1. Really, the labor statistics show the opposite.

          Back to lying, PB?

          Let me buttfuck you with government data again:

          http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

          1. Shrike doesn’t care about facts.

            The facts are beside the point.

            The point is that team Red is lying.

            And the facts are just a distraction.

        2. Shreek, you are retarded, mentally ill and prone to hallucinations. Just post the talking points they give you and shut the fuck up. Trying to do otherwise just makes people uncomfortable at the spectacle.

          1. Thursday!

      4. Later in that piece she wonders how so many people with employee health insurance have lost their insurance even though the mandates have been postponed.

        She might indeed be a nitwit, but this is the exact opposite of what she wonders about.

        The number of people with employer-sponsored insurance rose by a lot, to 116 million from 108 million.

        OK, so why is this puzzling? Well, umm, what’s all that employer-sponsored insurance doing there? Why did so many people with “other” insurance lose it? There is nothing in Obamacare that should have caused either outcome; the employer mandate hasn’t even taken effect.

        1. She is wondering why so many people with employee sponsored insurance lost it. Well, the reason why is that so many people have seen their hours cut. Also, just because the mandates were delayed doesn’t mean businesses are not planning for it and acting accordingly regardless.

          Again, she is either trolling or a complete nitwit.

          1. Sayeth McArdle:

            The number of people with employer-sponsored insurance rose by a lot, to 116 million from 108 million.

            Sayeth John:

            She is wondering why so many people with employee sponsored insurance lost it.

            What am I missing?

            1. I really think the dude can’t read

              1. Better that than not being able to think, which you seem to have an issue with.

                1. Better that than not being able to think, which you seem to have an issue with.

                  Yeah, you’re quite the thinker. You read it twice and still couldn’t understand what it said. It’s a good thing you work in D.C. because a lawyer with that kind of reading comprehension wouldn’t last long in the real world.

            2. She is still a nitwit. People losing health insurance in the individual market would have caused t hem to seek it from their employers. If you can’t buy insurance anymore running your own business, maybe you go out of business and take a job that gives you insurance or you go on your spouse’s insurance.

              It is not that hard to figure out. Why McArdle is puzzled by this is beyond me.

              1. The only thing puzzling is why you keep thinking the opposite of what it said.

                And then act like an asshole about it.

        2. “There is nothing in Obamacare that should have caused either outcome; the employer mandate hasn’t even taken effect.”

          One thing is that ObamaCare required plans to pay for 60% of coverage for a variety of things–that many of the old plans didn’t cover.

          There were ten essential things the plan was supposed to cover–like pediatric dental care (just one example). You aren’t allowed to offer the old plans to your employees unless you got it grandfathered in, and you can’t get in grandfathered in as an eligible plan unless you don’t charge any extra for those benefits.

          In the old plans, a lot of them used to offer things like pediatric dental care as an extra option–you had to pay more for if you wanted it.

          The main question to ask is: why insurance companies would want to continue to offer plans that they can’t continue to charge more for in the future. I mean, yeah, if ObamaCare drops that pediatric dental care requirement this year, so what?

          Why would you want to even bother to continue offering a grandfathered plan when they’re defective under ObamaCare, when you can pull the plan and offer something more expensive that’s completely in compliance with ObamaCare?

          You might lose a customer, but when they go out looking for a new plan, they’re not going to find any insurance companies offering any new plans like their old one. The insurance companies aren’t allowed to write new policies like that under ObamaCare.

          1. Abbreviated version:

            If you, as an insurance company, cancel the old plan, you can force the employer to buy a more expensive ObamaCare compliant plan.

            When that happens, and you cancel the employer’s old policy, the employer can’t go buy another plan like the old one–because ObamaCare prohibits offering new non-ObamaCare compliant plans.

            So, why would you, as an insurance company, continue to offer a grandfathered plan? What’s the upside of that to an insurance company?

            Would you rather more money or less money?

          2. “There is nothing in Obamacare that should have caused either outcome; the employer mandate hasn’t even taken effect.”

            The employer mandate keys off of your previous year’s employees and benefits. To minimize their exposure in 2014, employers needed to strip down their full-time employees in 2013. The fact that the mandate, which was originally supposed to be in effect in 2014, was postponed late in 2013, made no difference to what employers were doing to prepare for the mandate.

  11. President Obama told donors yesterday that he wants a “Congress that works…

    …for me.” Unfortunately for him, the midterms will make them even more competitors than employees.

  12. Standoff in the desert: Last rancher in south Nevada takes on 200 armed federal agents and snipers trying to confiscate cattle from his ancestral land in constitutional dispute over a rare TORTOISE

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..toise.html
    It’s made international news now.

    1. Nothing left to cut.

    2. Get ready for.another “look-over-there” barbecue a la Waco.

      1. Yeah. I too believe they’re going to kill him.

    3. Does the tortoise taste good? There might be a solution to this.

      1. If you mean preserving them by farming them for their meat, that wouldn’t work. They reproduce is small numbers and grow very slowly.

        1. Cloning and lab grown meat fixes that, you just need to keep a genetically viable population to harvest the stem cells from.

        2. And it’s this scarcity that would make them yummier and deliciouser.

      2. Indeed. If the rancher just eliminated the tortoise population would this be happening?

        1. This is why if you see some rare animal on your property your best bet is to shoot, and bury it, and never tell a living soul about it.

          That is the position that the government has put people in.

        2. From an unreliable source:

          So now it is about the Desert Tortoise. This is an animal the BLM had a habitat for, but when they ran out of money to run the habitat they slaughtered 1800 of them. Miraculously they now claim they have mysteriously found 3 million dollars that they are paying to round up and steal Bundy’s cattle.

          I would like to see some (any) documentation on said tortoise slaughter, though I do not disbelieve it.

          Sipsey Street Irregulars has some barely coherent commentary, about 6 comments down. It suggests that the MSM has done its usually piss-poor job in covering the details/timeline of the story … which makes you wonder about the other few facts they present.

    4. When I was stationed in the mojave desert in CA a few years ago I remember the same damn tortoise had the air base by the balls there too. For something so endangered, it sure has a helluva range/reservation with which to recover in. If it’s still not making it, perhaps it not the “fittest”…

      1. Here’s the thing about the Endangered Species Act – it can shut down thousands of acres if ONE specimin was seen there ONCE back in 1984, and none have been spotted since.

        1. A government organization devoted to limiting industrial and economic activity, yet progressives remain clueless as to why so many well-paying blue-collar jobs started deteriorating in the 70s and 80s.

          1. Well duh, It’s because of EVUL CORPORATIONS!! exploiting poor people in the 3rd world, so they can make even more money so they can swim around in their Scrooge McDuckian money vaults!!!

            Or something like that.

        2. There used to be some beautiful blueberry flats round here that were open to the public. Free blueberries. Every year they’d burn the field so they would come back. Well, someone found some endangered snake, so they stopped the burning. Haven’t had any blueberries since, nor has the snake been seen again.

      2. –“When I was stationed in the mojave desert in CA a few years ago”–

        Since you were stationed there, you probably know that the Raven is the most prolific predator of the tortoise. In the tortoise ranges, follow any power line, and on the ground below, you will find shells of baby/small tortoise that the ravens have eaten.

        Then factor in that the ravens are also protected, so nothing can be done to them to protect the tortoises.

        1. Quoth the Raven – “That Tortoise is nevermore”.

    5. It’s a shame that all the ranchers won’t stand together on this.

      1. I don’t know that there are many ranchers left to stand together.

      2. Indeed. Deprive District 1 of delicious beef but then I guess you’d probably have Abrams tanks and Apache helicopters on the way.

  13. “IRS Gave House Oversight Democrats Info on Targeted Conservative Group”

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent tax documents on a targeted conservative group to Democratic staff on the House Oversight Committee, newly released emails show, despite previous denials by ranking Oversight Democrat Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) that such contact had occurred.

    http://freebeacon.com/issues/i…..ive-group/

    1. FAKE SCANDAL!!!11!!!
      /progderp

  14. Turkish authorities have maintained a ban on YouTube despite a court ordering that the ban be lifted.

    Why don’t they just jail anyone who makes offensive videos like enlightened civilized countries do?

    1. The Internet has been around forever.

      How the hell did it miss goats for so many years?

      Makes one wonder what else the Internet is not telling us.

  15. CA woman accused of rape hoax in plot against couple who outbid her for dream home
    …Rowe said a miscommunication with real estate agents allowed the other couple to outbid her, and she says she was “devastated.” She offered them $100,000 above the asking price, but they declined. And that’s when the pranks began.

    Rowe listed the home for sale online, put a stop on the couple’s mail, and sent religious missionaries to their door at first, but prosecutors said her actions soon became criminal.

    Rowe is accused of posing as the wife, advertising a “Carmel Valley Freak Show,” and inviting strange men over for sex in detailed rape fantasies that included the woman’s photo and address.

    “I love to be surprised and have a man just show up at my door and force his way in the door and on me, totally taking me while I say no,” prosecutors say Rowe told one man who responded to the ad….

    1. Rowe listed the home for sale online, put a stop on the couple’s mail, and sent religious missionaries to their door at first, but prosecutors said her actions soon became criminal.

      The actions listed at the beginning of the paragraph aren’t criminal fraud? (Sending missionaries might only be harassment.)

    2. Soon became criminal? I figured it would be a crime to stop someone else’s mail without their consent.

    3. “While I am ashamed of my actions, I did not do things which I thought were harmful or scary,”

      Because you’re a childish idiot.

      1. “But because I never heard from anyone, I never knew if these activities were noticed or the impact they were having on the family.”

        It’s their fault for not telling her not to do that.

        1. After reading some comments on other stories there (I refuse to call it “reporting”), I’m surprised their commentators don’t whole-heartedly agree with her thinking.

  16. I learned something, yesterday.

    The reason Argentina is such an economic disaster?

    NAZIS.

      1. Patagonian Nazis are the worst.

    1. You can take the National Socialist out of Germany, but you can’t take out the socialist out of Nazi.

      1. Wait I thought socialists and Nazis were on the opposite ends of the political spectrum derpity derpity derp.

        1. Its a “two fer”

          The left gain the capitalist tyrant they so desperately need and delete one of history’s worse monsters from their ranks all in one stroke.

  17. http://oversight.house.gov/wp-…..e-Vote.pdf

    Anyone see this?

  18. More than 814 million Indians are eligible to vote in the nine-phase election, which began on April 7 and will end on May 12.

    Four best-of-seven serieses?

  19. I want alt-text that works.

  20. Chinese retail giant announces set-top box with remote that just-so-happens to look like the Wii’s

    Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba is sort of like China’s answer to Amazon and eBay rolled into one? and that’s not just because the internet company provides one of the world’s largest marketplaces for retail and business-to-business sales.

    Alibaba also has its own operating system called Aliyun OS, and just like Amazon’s Fire OS, it’s a heavily modified version of Google Android.

    Now Alibaba is introducing a set-top-box that brings videos, games, and other content to your TV? just like the recently launched Amazon Fire TV.

    The Alibaba G20 is powered by Aliyun OS and it’s designed to handle games, apps, and online video. There’s a heavy emphasis on gaming though, and the box ships with a wireless remote control which doubles as a game controller and air mouse? and which has an uncanny resemblance to Nintendo’s Wiimote.

  21. “Not everyone agrees with every proposal I put forward, but one that is serious about governance and is thinking about the next generation and not just the next election,”

    Is there quote in the Amie Pames “The Hill” blog article that does not come across as gibberish? May be it made sense in context, maybe it did not, but all that comes across is His Incompetency’s feelings are hurt.

  22. Ayaan Hirsi Ali Responds to Brandeis.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.co…..yprocrisy/

    1. From her statement: “More deplorable is that an institution set up on the basis of religious freedom should today so deeply betray its own founding principles. The ‘spirit of free expression’ referred to in the Brandeis statement has been stifled here, as my critics have achieved their objective of preventing me from addressing the graduating Class of 2014.”

      Contrast her support of free speech for herself with he wish to close Muslim schools:

      “So Muslim schools in the West, some of which are institutions of fascism that teach innocent kids that Jews are pigs and monkeys?I would say in order to preserve civil liberties, don’t allow such schools.”

      https://reason.com/archives/200…..singlepage

      Brandeis is named after a Supreme Court justice who stood up for free expression even for Commies.

      I don’t want a government powerful enough to decide which religious schools are allowed to be open. Nor should Brandeis want such a government.

  23. Indians are heading to the polls on the first big day of the general election. More than 814 million Indians are eligible to vote in the nine-phase election, which began on April 7 and will end on May 12.

    Tragedy! ….. In India!!!!
    — Walton and Johnson

  24. I don’t get something. Maybe someone can help. Hydro here is nationalized. It’s property of the Quebec government. April is the time of the month where they crack down and cut electricity for non-payment. Forgive me if I sound daft, but isn’t the government (so we’re taught and told) compassionate and supposed to protect people? If a private company does this they’re called ‘greedy’ but when the government does it, well, people really need to pay up! It’s asinine the contradictions built into this. Am I Harry Reid crazy on this?

    1. You’re looking at what they are doing, not who is doing it. You’re supposed to look at who, not what. When a private company does it it’s bad, but when government does it it’s good. Principals trump principles.

      1. I heard a report this morning about Australia possibly going after the estates of people who die still owing on their student loans. (The government is the lender here.)

        When a bank lends money to you, that’s evil and you should have the debt reduced. When you owe to the state, that’s sacrosance and you should owe in perpetuity.

        1. Yeah, proglodytes don’t seem terribly bothered that the government made student loans not dischargeable in bankruptcy after it started guaranteeing them, either.

          1. Well, yeah. Government is us. Banks are just banks. Of course government loans must be paid back. They are owed to the people. Bank loans don’t matter because banks make icky profits. In fact, defaulting on bank loans is a good thing, because it takes away icky profits from rich people.

        2. Obviously the government should get out of the business of making loans to individuals. But in the context of reality, you accept the fact that you have to pay no matter what in exchange for subsidized loans.

          And I am pretty sure that many of the same people who want to see private mortgages reduced and forgiven would also like to see federal student loans reduced or forgiven as well. I’d say it is less of a pro-government thing than a pro-free-stuff thing.

          1. True, but the point is some loans are dischargeable in bankruptcy and others aren’t.

            They’re going to try it with medical debt too, once that’s held by the government.

        3. I heard a report this morning about Australia possibly going after the estates of people who die still owing on their student loans. (The government is the lender here.)

          Don’t they have a system where you repay loans based on the career you’ve entered? I’ve had progs say how wonderful this system is, until I point out that Australia’s made up for shortfalls by increasing the number of full-tuition paying foreign students over the years.

          1. Based on your earnings:

            You have to start repaying your HELP debt through the taxation system once your repayment income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying. The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year. For the 2013-14 income year, the compulsory repayment threshold is $51,309.

            http://studyassist.gov.au/site…..MyHELPDebt

            Fees are capped for undergraduate courses, but not postgraduate. So now medicine and law (historically undergraduate courses) can only be studied post-grad in most institutions.

          2. Australia possibly going after the estates of people who die still owing on their student loans.

            All your debts are supposed to be paid out of your estate before any inheritance is passed on. This would be business as usual for any private creditor.

        4. Someone in some crazy chat told me his student loans are not cleared by declaring bankruptcy in the US.

          No idea if this is true or not

          1. It’s true, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

          2. Ah, your big bang silliness suddenly makes sense, you’re just generally ignorant.

    2. “Hydro”, in Canuck-speak, means electricity and not water, right?

      We forgive you for sounding daft.

      1. They can’t call it a dam, because that would upset the valuable beaver constituency.

      2. Yes. Electricity.

        Love that word.

      3. “Hydro”, in Canuck-speak

        I live in Washington State. I knew what he meant.

        What is this “coal” you new england dandies and drooling southerns keep talking about?

    3. I can’t call you crazy. Here, the power plants are owned by NYRA (the state) and the electricity is sold to a registered monopoly (National Grid) and everyone blames everyone else for anything that adversely impacts the customers.

      1. If the price of gasoline goes up to $5, or $8, or $37 a gallon and the money ends up as profit of an oil company, that’s evil. If the price of gasoline goes up and the money ends up int ehe hands of government in the form of gas taxes, that same exact money suddenly, magically becomes virtuous.

        1. Most people don’t know that the government makes more money off a gallon of gasoline than the oil companies. The oil companies are lucky to make a dime, while the state and federal governments take over twice that in gasoline taxes. Then again, most people look at total profits and have an emotional reaction, rather than thinking about margins and then having a rational response.

          1. Yeah, the taxes on gas are often why we pay a lot at the pumps…but you know, oilz companiez!

    4. Well, the assumption that the government is compassionate and supposed to protect people is a bit crazy.

      I think the compassion part is not cutting power in the middle of winter.
      Maybe Quebeckers are crazier than I thought, but I would imagine that people would be just as outraged (if not more) when the government cuts off their power as if a private company does.

      1. In my state it is illegal for the power company to cut power in the winter for non-payment.

        1. Same in NH. You can’t evict people in the winter either.

          1. In Washington for some idiotic reason all Tax sales are done right before the end of the year.

            Tax sales are government auctions that sell off land which taxes have not been payed.

            Basically any evictions from such sales go into effect in the dead cold of late January.

      2. They don’t dare do it in winter. This is true.

        A bit crazy but one (mostly the left) many cling to.

        I don’t know if a private company is equal or worse to the task.

        1. Well, most private power companies in the US are so heavily regulated that they might as well be government run, so it is hard to say.

    5. If they weren’t compassionate, they would cut power for non-payment in January. Let the dead-beats freeze to death or teach them to pay up.

      1. That happened back in the 80’s. Little old ladies would freeze to death after the power company cut them off. That’s what led to the laws prohibiting the utilities from cutting people off after winter started.

        1. When I worked for Nevada Power, we couldn’t cut until September.

          1. Summer heat kills people too.

            1. Every year in Europe thousands of old people die from the heat. Secretly the proggies love this – it strengthens their AGW arguements and gets rid of excess population.

  25. President Obama told donors yesterday that he wants a “Congress that works” and cited the ongoing fight over immigration reform as an example of politics being considered more seriously than policy.

    I agree.

    Get to work, Congress.

    Impeach that idiot.

    1. If the IRS/Lerner scandal.doesn’t result in an impeachment, we will.never see another in this country.

      The Napolitano article.on “autopilot government” miss3s one key item: our entire society is on autopilot. No one.cares enough to expect even low standards of.our elected officials.

  26. BREAKING: Emails Show Lois Lerner Fed True the Vote Tax Information to Democrat Elijah Cummings

    Rep. Cummings has described the investigation into IRS targeting of conservative groups as a “witch hunt,” and has tried multiple times to put the investigation on hold.

    Oops.

    1. FAKE SCANDAL!!

    2. It is always a “witch hunt” when you are the witch.

      1. Rhymes with “witch.”

    3. essentially no different than Watergate except for the lack of a media shitstorm because principals. they are who I thought they were 40 years ago.

    4. But…but….but…BOOOSH!!11!!!111!!!

  27. A late Valentine’s Day story.

    86-year-old Edwin Edwards, former Louisiana governor, met his 35 y/o wife when he was in prison and the couple became pen-pals.

    Now he’s running for Congress: “Why am I running? Because it’s what I want to do,” … “Somebody told me the other day, you’re 86 and retired, why don’t you do what you wanna do? So, I am.”

    http://www.politico.com/story/…..05563.html

    1. Oh, he has a baby.

      1. Time to go back to selling daughters for cattle – women can’t be trusted to make non idiotic decisions.

        1. Is this why…

  28. Without getting into another shitstorm, I’d like to comment on a small portion of Dalmia’s piece from yesterday:

    These reforms produced a decade of explosive growth, lifting 300 million from poverty. It also made India the IT hub of the world leading to heady talk about “Brand India,” the notion that just as India had come to define the global standard in quality programming, so it would in other aspects of its culture.

    Err, no. Fairly or not, India defines the global standard for “a country where 80% of programmers good enough to work for a major foreign firm get the hell out as soon as they can”.

    Again, not saying it’s fair, but that’s the perception.

    1. I hired an Indian firm to do some website development for a client of my consulting business.

      It was awful. I had to take the ‘experienced’ developer by the hand and show him how his gratuitous use of one cell tables nested into each other was the reason why the site didn’t render properly on firefox. His graphic artist – if he even existed – couldn’t figure out how to create buttons of the style we needed – and in the end I created the graphical elements while trying to explain what it was we needed.

      I ended up firing him, and Elance gave me a full refund.

      1. That seems to be fairly typical. No one hires Indians for quality. You hope for good enough and easily fixable.

      2. one cell tables

        That is pretty fucking special.

        But yeah, while Indians are known for quality programming, India is not; it’s known for high volume and low price.

        1. Very true. My job used to be programming, now it is trying to get Indians to program properly. I see it as a sign that programming is now a commodity that means little to business anymore – certainly ‘quality’ has been tossed completely out the window. There is no longer any time to do it right. Just get it sort-of working and pick up the pieces later.

      3. One of the applications I maintain right now was contracted out to Indian developers. It is some of the worst code I’ve ever seen. When you have a 2000-line constructor with anonymous functions nested 5+ levels deep, you might want to take a minute to reconsider your approach. You definitely won’t find any evidence of object oriented design principles in that codebase.

        Oh, and in the rare event that there are actually comments, it’s just the variable/class/function name restated.

        1. + 1 public static void doEverything()

          1. Close:

            /**
            * Do everything
            */
            public static void doEverything()

            1. @throws itDidntWorkException

          2. Whatever happened to the old FORTRAN .ORELSE. operator? That would intimidate a processor to do anything and look slippy about it.

        2. Two years ago, I briefly reentered the OpenVMS world. It was gutwrenching. Compaq/HP had fired the last of the world class DEC developers and were using guys in India who were clueless about operating system design.

          And bit by bit those guys injected sand into the works. Each module they touched performed less reliably, and module by module they took down what had been a bullet-proof OS.

          I’m still bitter. I hope Carly Fiorina is proud of herself; she managed to fuck up a whole cluster of world class companies.

          1. I have heard the same of IBM; I don’t know if it’s true.

            I suppose the theory (possibly accurate in many cases) is that legacy customers who’ve been using your product for 20 years will decide they’re better off dealing with your bugs than starting over on a better platform?

            1. What happens is that the legacy guys just don’t upgrade.

              The development is needed to make the OS work on new hardware architecture, and when you have crap guys who don’t understand the design philosophy of the OS doing the work, they produce buggy stuff that doesn’t work on any architecture anymore.

              So legacy guys won’t upgrade, and few people want to buy a crap OS, so it dies in the marketplace..

            2. After having been subjected to both Lotus Notes and Websphere, I have to say: Fuck IBM and their unintuitive bloatware. They are reaming large companies because those companies are terrified of using obviously superior products like JBoss because they are “unsupported”.

              And trying to find help on IBM’s website is an exercise in futility and frustration.

              1. I thought Red Hat supported JBoss? Or is it IBM FUD?

                1. I don’t really know how the support arrangements work. That’s just the spiel I get from management.

                  1. PS, yes, they do, apparently

          2. People still use VMS?

            1. Well, people still use COBOL, so…

              1. True.

                I should talk. Sometimes I use vi.

        3. I think it’s called, “Stream of Consciousness” coding. Or maybe that should be Unconsciousness.

        4. When I write Perl scripts for myself, I comment out the opening and closing of braces, so that I make certain they’re all matched.

          [blushing]

          1. Are you also using `ed` to write your scripts?

            1. Don’t be silly, ed is obsolete. We’ve upgraded to vi.

    2. The reason my company has so many Indians is that we get our pick from the top talent from the country. For native Americans we have to fight with other engineering/software companies, but for Indians the fact that we’re willing to sponsor visas means we get a huge advantage in recruiting that population of talented Indians who want to leave their country… which turns out to be a huge population.

      1. Yup, back to the “the good programmers get out” principle

  29. President Obama told donors yesterday that he wants a “Congress that works” and cited the ongoing fight over immigration reform as an example of politics being considered more seriously than policy.

    “Waaaaah! They won’t agree with me! Waaaaah!” That’s all I hear anytime someone complains about partisanship or a “do nothing” Congress.

    1. As the inimitable Iowahawk once twittered, “A ‘do-nothing’ congress is sort of like a ‘do-nothing’ arsonist.”

  30. I know everyone here knows how much True Blue Progtards despise ordinary, hard working people, but here is a book that lays out the origins and foundations of that particular nasty and ugly secret of the Progressive movement. It’s a long article but worth the time.

    1. Disallowed characters!?!

      The bastards!

    2. You Sugarfreed the hell out of that link.

    3. Oof. Here is is… http://www.hoover.org/publicat…..cle/175281

      I blame teh skwerelz!

  31. Police force in tiny Iowa town of 7,000 free citizens serfs acquire armored vehicle to combat?nothing. Except maybe an unruly population.

    1. you f’d up the link.

      1. don’t stop him, he’s on a roll

    2. I’ve got an acquaintance on another board who’s a cop in a small Iowa town. I ought to post this article, but most of the members of the board are cop fellators. 🙁

    3. Restoras is not good at internet.

      1. I tried to tee both those up on a seperate document and then copy/paste them…alas, I lack FoE’s and many others deft skills.

        Trying again…

        Police force in tiny Iowa town of 7,000 free citizens serfs acquire armored vehicle to combat?nothing. Except maybe an unruly population.

        1. Uh, I don’t copy and paste from notepad or whatever. Your attempt to sully me will not stand, sir.

          1. A thousand pardon’s, FoE! I was only seeking a more efficient way to post interestin’ stuff from the inttertubez!

    4. Theres a small town close to where I live, and their police department recently got an APC.

      I wonder what the recruiting ads for police departments look like now.

      “Do you want to play soldier, but don’t want to confront someone that might actually shoot back? Do you want to play around with military equipment, but don’t have the balls to join the actual military? If so apply to you local police department today!”

    5. They may have acquired the vehicle for free, but are about to find out the ridiculously high cost of maintaining and fueling it, and it will end up parked behind the police station and never, ever used. Probably worth more to the town to just sell it on Ebay.

      1. Assuming the local serfs rise up against the higher taxes needed to operate the vehicle. Which if they do wouldn’t that be justification to unleash the Hogs of War?

    1. Veteran of woman battering?

      …oh wait, wrong “vet”

      …oh, and wrong Chris Brown

  32. tarran, hamilton, and butts (if you’re around), should we start an email thread to figure out a meet up? Looks like I only have hamilton’s email.

    1. What a coincidink! I seem to only have hamilton’s email too!

      I know who is organizing it!!!! 🙂

      1. He was saying how lazy the rest of us are just the other day.

        1. That’s the pot calling the kettle black.

          1. Do you all organize the meet-up on a weekend?

            1. We don’t believe in central planning, so we stand around hoping that it spontaneously happens.

              1. I was at the bar last weekend and no one showed up!

                1. I’m at bars all the time and you assholes never show up. I blame entropy.

                  1. But your bars are way out of the city, I think!

        2. Yeah, but I was castigating you as a group, so it’s Progressive-Approved(TM).

    2. Wait, aren’t you guys in the Boston Metro area? What am I chopped liver?

      1. Maybe next time you’ll go to the Reason Happy Hour!

        Or come to this, or whatever.

        1. Yeah couldn’t make it that night, My wife had prior plans long before Nick announced he’d be in town and I had to be home to watch the kids

          1. But without having vetted you at the Happy Hour, how do we know you aren’t a sockpuppet? You could even be joe, since we haven’t been able to access your height.

            (PS: Just email hamilton and we can add you to the discussion)

            1. Well I did grow up in Lowell so you never know

  33. More than 814 million Indians are eligible to vote

    Conservatives put in two voting machines in the college town of Banglahore where the line will stretch for miles. When asked it was explained “We learned this trick in Ohio”.

    1. “We learned this trick in Ohio”.

      As a reporter who covered that election may I inject: “Wow are you stupid.”

      1. Thursday!

      2. Ken Blackwell’s voter suppression of college age voters in 2004 is well documented.

        Its OK though. I am glad Bush won. If not the country would not have gotten the full stench of the Bushpig regime.

        1. Obama being that full stench, of course.

          1. Thursday!

        2. You think Kerry would have been much better than Bush?

          1. Thursday!

            1. Clear your cache, you seem to have repeditive post syndrome.

              1. Nope! It is Troll Free Thursday and I’m just trying to remind everyone.

  34. one that is serious about governance and is thinking about the next generation and not just the next election,

    Sage words from the Campaigner-in-Chief.

  35. I heard that India’s electoral scheme is even more complicated than the new NHL playoff system.

    1. Not like my teams is in the playoffs.

      Fucking shootouts. Fuck you Gary Bettman.

      1. Hahahaha! Let’s go Jackets!

        1. I hope we play the blue jackets first round.

          There’ll probably be cheap seats available and Columbus isn’t that far of a drive.

          1. Playoff tickets sold only to Ohio residents first two days. You want me to get you a couple? Bwahahaha! (I do hope you’re right about cheap seats — but I’m not holding my breath.)

            1. I’ve already got tickets to two of the Bruins’ opening series.

            2. Is hockey catching on there?

              I remember some people I know going in big bus groups to see the pens play in columbus because the tickets were so cheap, in comparison, that the bus was worth the extra money. When you’d watch the game on teevee the crowd would cheer when the pens scored. It was surreal and sad at the same time.

              I imagine that once the playoffs start every asshole in Ohio will be a “life long jackets fan!”.

              1. Problem, of course, is that they’ve never fielded a competitive team. Nationwide was full for the first three or four years. But after 15 years or so, I figure most cities would see a drop off in attendance.
                I think there’s a pent-up demand for pro sports here. I enjoy Ohio State, but I can’t bring myself to boo a 19-year-old.
                A goalie making $3 million, though, I can happily and lustily boo.
                A playoff series win or two and the place will be packed again. So, maybe in another 15 years.

              2. Funny, for a long time while the O’s sucked Camden Yards was called Fenway South…

            3. The reason they don’t allow out of state purchases early is.that Pittsburgh fans would show.up like we always do.and drown Columbus’s pathetic cheering squad like puppies in a sack in the Olentangy.

          2. I hope we play the blue jackets first round.

            YEAH NO SHIT.

        2. For personal reasons, I hope to.never see Columbus come within one playoff round of hoisting the Cup. I was once treated quite rudely by a member of the team’s management during their first season. And I mean, personally, extremely rudely. Like, slap ’em-with-a-white glove, call-your-seconds rudely.

          1. It’s a rough town, buddy.

          2. Dude, come on, what’s the story?

            Dish. It’ll help get the ire up if we play them.

            1. I am not going to get.into it. I am a forgiving sort of.person, but it still gets me angry after all these years and I don’t need to think about it any more. I generally don’t take myself too.seriously, but.some insults really rankle.

              1. That’s cool. But if you ever get a bit tipsy and feel like sharing, I’ll listen.

            2. They probably offered him the second-class caviar up in the owner’s box.

          3. It’s the stench from An Ohio State University. 😉

      2. Did they have too many or too little shootout wins?

        Because having too many can get your team booted in a tie-breaker.

        1. I’m not sure if it’s correct to call that “too many” if you still have losses. Convert one of those losses to a shootout win and you don’t go to the tiebreaker.

          1. One thing the IIHF gets right is having regulation wins be three points, so that every game is a 3-point game.

            1. ^This.^ Why should games that end in a tie in regulation be worth more total points than a win? Why doesn’t every NHL team just agree to play to a tie in regulation then go at it in overtime?

        2. 0-11 in the shootout, baby!

          Of, the team that singlehandedly got the trapezoid instituted because the “wrong” team had a great puck-handling goalie. You can bet if Brodeur had been in Detroit or Montreal there would never have been a trapezoid.

          1. Just end the game in a tie, each team gets one point. If you win the game, you get three. Why is that so wrong?

            1. Because fucking Gary Bettman thinks fans want to see a winner, and not a tie.

              1. This is what happens when you have a douchebag lawyer from the NBA as your commissioner and not someone who knows anything about the game, it’s fans, or even sports in general.

              2. I do prefer a winner over a tie, but that would be with overtime. Not with a skills competition.

            2. If you end in a tie a win should be 2 points.

              If you keep the shootout, a (regulation) win should be 3.

          2. Please – Bettman hates Detroit and was appalled he had to see so much of them early in his tenure when he was hoping to be in LA, Chicago, and New York.

      3. Shootouts are so lame. It’d be like deciding a football game via a field goal competition.

    2. They probably have racist vote suppressors demanding ID too!

      /prog-derp

    3. Tis new system is because of the unbalanced conferences mandated by the fact the Red Wings could no longer handle being the fifteenth westernmost team.

      1. “sixteenth westernmost team”.

      2. Unbalanced conferences is awful. It’s structurally unfair to the larger conference.

      3. For years Detroit was the only Team in the Western Conference located in the Eastern Time Zone. It sucked as a fan having to stay up until 2 am on a weeknight to watch an overtime game in San Jose or Anaheim.

  36. In other Maryland congresscreature news:

    Mikulski Erupts on Equal Pay Issue: ‘I Get Volcanic’

    “You know one way to help the economy? It’s for people to make more money.”

    1. “You know one way to help the economy? It’s for people to make more money.”

      Green rectangles = wealth! Derpity derp.

    2. “…we can’t even get to majority vote to make sure women get equal pay for equal work!”

      And it won’t even if you do because your premise is flawed. To the extent that there is a problem it is not solvable by law.

      1. Well, you could always solve this particular problem with law. It would just cause tons more.

        Simplest form: Everyone gets the same pay (regardless of job, experience, hours, etc)

        1. Everyone gets the same pay (regardless of job, experience, hours, etc)

          I wonder what that would be? Total cash employment comp in the US divided by total number of employees in the US.

    3. You know one way to help the economy? It’s for people to make more money.

      … which she has demonstrated through her long and illustrious Senate career that she has absolutely no idea how to make happen.

  37. Until last October, Disney gave autistic people “guest assistance cards” when visiting their theme parks. The cards let disabled people cut in line because their condition supposedly makes it hard for them to wait in line.

    Then Disney cancelled these cards in response to cases of non-disabled people hiring disabled people to let them cut lines. Now Disney provides “disability access cards” letting the holder come back later when it’s less crowded.

    Some parents of autistic children are now suing Disney for not giving their kids adequate access to Disney’s rides.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/…..4696.story

    1. Why the fuck would an autistic person wanna go to disney?

      Sounds like hell.

      1. I want accomodations for my Tourettes. FUCK!! ASS!!

        1. I have a friend withTourette’s. She has a great sense of humor about it.

    2. From what I’ve heard, the previous system was incredibly easy to abuse, since you could make anything up and Disney made no attempt to verify it (how could they?). Plenty of perfectly healthy people ended up with those cards. I have no comment on the merits of either system.

      1. The weird thing is people who abuse the system. How were these people raised? Do they have no ethics? Or shame? Is this a character trait they want to pass on to their children?

        I just don’t get it.

        1. In order…

          Badly. No (or only situational ethics). No. Apparently.

          I hope their kids get embarrassed by it.

        2. The NY Post broke the story and it seemed to be mostly very wealthy Manhattanites. There was some kind of private bulletin board that circulated among all of the private school parents connecting them with people to hire.

          I agree with you. You really have to trash and have no class to do something like that. What the hell kind of values are you teaching your kid? How could you cut in line in front of other people knowing you were a fraud?

          1. I could only imagine the NYers’ reaction if it were people of Walmart doing this.

            1. The people of Walmart probably have family who qualify under the loose standards, but can’t afford the gate charges at Disney.

          2. Rich Manhattanites are often times or even mostly successful investment bankers and lawyers. They have no moral or ethical code to live by. Everything is about them, and what they belive they deserve, simply because they are successful and rich. They beleive their children are better than everyone else’s because of thier success and raise them to beleive that.

            1. So they are thoroughly loathsome people like we figured. Money doesn’t buy class or character. There is plenty of trailer trash on the upper east side. They just have the money not to have to keep cars on blocks in their front yard or have the cops show up every time they get into a fight.

        3. Money, you got a commodity and someone else wants to buy it. Happens everywhere.
          There are some very wealthy people that visit Disney.
          If I was in the park with a set of those cards and somebody offered me $2,000 for them, I’d probably sell.

        4. It’s a lot like the handicapped parking passes, just on a different scale and demographic. Just another entitlement…

    3. They are going to win. The ADA says “reasonable accommodation” and that probably means letting handicapped kids go to the front.

      It is a stupid law as we all know. It is still the law however. What Disney should have done was make some effort to ensure people were actually bringing a family member not a hired line cutter. Then, they should have banned any family caught doing it from the park for life and put their names and faces up on the internet for public shaming. That would have deterred the upper east side yuppies real quick.

      In a perfect world there would be nothing wrong with hiring the handicapped kids. It was a win for everyone. We don’t live in a perfect world and PR concerns no doubt forced Disney to stop it.

      1. It’s not reasonable at all for the non-autistic.

        1. Sure it is not. And that is why the ADA sucks.

      2. “The ADA says “reasonable accommodation” and that probably means letting handicapped kids go to the front.”

        The “we’ll make it easier for you to come back when it’s not crowded” meets that requirement just fine.

        “Reasonable accommodation” doesn’t mean “whatever accommodation the customer wants” and never has.

    4. Families with autistic children have sued Walt Disney Co, alleging the company does not provide adequate access to theme park visitors with autism who have difficulty waiting in long lines for rides. The 16 plaintiffs … said the company is violating requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

      I sympathize; but come on.

      1. I don’t. So the kids have ‘difficulty’ waiting in long lines. Someone paralyzed from the neck down doesn’t have ‘difficulty’ climbing stairs; it’s an impossibility.

  38. CIA used Red Hot Chili Peppers songs to ‘TORTURE’ terrorism suspects
    Methods allegedly used at CIA ‘black sites’ – secret detention centres
    One site believed to be in Poland and another in Indian Ocean
    Music as part of interrogation process which included sleep deprivation

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

    1. Yeah, that would be torture.

      1. They should play some Gorilla Biscuits (see last night’s Independents). The suspects would not only spill the beans on all terror plots, they’d convert to Judaism just to make the pain stop.

  39. Walter Olson has some interesting commentary on the case of the “too skinny” Asian girl at Yale:

    Although much of the press coverage seems unaware of the issue, it would not be surprising if changing legal pressures on universities played a role here. Efforts both regulatory and liability-driven have been under way to hold universities accountable for not preventing student suicides, and as a result, many campuses have seen a shift toward more interventionist, rules-driven policies designed to show that the institution was not standing idly by when it knew or had reason to know of early signs of self-harm. (Our file on the topic goes back a decade.) If the list of self-harm behaviors includes eating disorders, you might have a formula for interventions in which very skinny students are placed under pressure to prove they are not anorexic.

    1. That’s not surprising at all. The age of helicopter parenting is driving our society to more and more third party responsibility for individual actions.

      1. That’s ironic in that.increased and overbearing attention by parents results in them taking less responsibility for their.children’s welfare.

        1. They don’t even take responsibility for themselves.

  40. Ellen DeGeneres awkwardly makes out with Rob Lowe after he reveals Jewel didn’t want to kiss him on camera

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..amera.html
    Barfmans says “Barf.”

    1. mmmm, snaggletooth. Although I don’t much blame her (Jewel) despite his noteworthy image turnaround…

  41. Another blow to sriracha:

    http://www.latimes.com/local/l…..z2yURvJn4w

    1. My “action plan” would be:

      Fuck you. Bye.

      1. I’m sure there are plenty of states that would welcome them. I don’t know why these companies keep bending over backwards for the government. For example, when DC wanted to make an example out of Walmart and make them pay higher wages than any other business. If I were Walmart I would have walked away – no negotiations, no hearings, no committee meetings, no nothing.

  42. “The fewer babies Americans give birth to, the more small dogs they seem to buy.”

    http://qz.com/197416/americans…..of-babies/

    1. I’m pretty much size agnostic regarding dog size, but goddamn I’m getting tired of seeing little dogs in places you wouldn’t dare take a large dog. Last night it was a small dog in the mall. Next time it happens I want to go out to the garage and bring my dobie in and walk her right next to the other douche and get us both tossed.

      1. yes x any number.

    2. And then call themselves “pet parents”, which I find very irritating. Whatever happened to “master”?
      Of course people can have a wonderful connection to pets, but they aren’t your children and they aren’t people.

      1. I think it comes from the move away from an agricultural society. You won’t find many farmers calling themselves “cow daddies”. They have a much more utilitarian view on animals.

        1. Yeah, but the farmers also don’t keep the cows in the house.

          I actually think that this may be a good thing, despite the fact that it’s utterly annoying and probably a sign of mental illness. If a bunch of immature people can assuage their parenting instinct on a mutt, that’s just that many fewer children born to immature helicopter parents.

      2. I made the mistake of writing something similar on my facebook page. I got the wrath of 100 “dog mommies.” I tried to tell them that their dogs would literally eat their faces if given the opportunity, but they’re in denial.

        I like the middle ground that the guy from “My Cat From Hell” uses, he calls people “pet guardians.” That doesn’t ruffle my collar like “furbabies” and “pet mommy”

  43. Finally got around to watching the first episode of Black Sails. Seems promising so far. And Blackbeard was… interesting…

    And all the scenery makes me so fucking jealous.

  44. Maybe I am missing something about this rancher out in Nevada but I am having a hard time seeing him as a victim. They guy leased BLM land and then refused to pay the rent. I think the feds need to sell all of that land and get out of the land management business altogether. Until that happens, however, the feds still own it. How does this guy claim the right not to pay rent to graze on land he doesn’t own and to be a victim when the rightful owner, after 16 years of non payment, seizes his trespassing cattle? Is there another aspect to this story I am not seeing?

    1. I’m probably no more spun up on the details than you, but I thought I saw something about him claiming rights to the area long before it was BLM and/or the desert tortoise’s playground.

      1. I think the ESA is bullshit. That said, if BLM owns it, they have a right to determine how it is used.

        As far as his claim on the land, well, we have courts for those sorts of disputes. I find it difficult to believe he has a legitimate legal claim on the land that no court will recognize. The BLM only owns the land because it was the land that no one would take to homestead or later buy. The BLM owns land that they could not get rid of by any means and got stuck with. It was only later that they started granted cheap rents to the local cattle ranchers.

        Like I said, I am open to hearing how this guy is a victim. He might be and certainly won’t be the first. I just haven’t ever heard exactly why. All I ever see is him crying they took his cattle after he refused to pay rent.

        1. His point of view is that his family had been ranching on state land for over a century, and then in walk the feds saying it’s their land now and he needs to start paying them rent. He told them to get fucked. That was twenty-odd years ago. This is the climax of a long dispute.

        2. AFAICT he’s not a victim so much as an opportunist.

          When he lost the case in ’98 over the contested lands, he moved at least a portion of his cattle onto adjoining lands that were not contested and under control of the National Park Service. They have photos of his cattle (branded) on those lands and he has denied it repeatedly since then.

          The court got fed up last year and issued a summary judgement against him. They started seizing his cattle and he declared “Range War” (his words). At which point the feds brought in guns.

          I’m sure there’s some details that run counter to the court’s summary, but it reads pretty badly in regards to his behavior. I would think in most cases, the feds would have brought the hammer down long ago.

          Now here is is a real example of the feds being blatantly partisan and using the bureaucracy to achieve political ends.

          1. I’d say given the lack of effort by the Feds to improve or utilize the land, he has squatters rights after 130 years of use by the family.

            1. I am pretty sure he paid rent most of those years, though probably not much. If he paid a dime of rent, he forfeits his adverse possession rights.

    2. His family had the cattle on that land long before BLM took it over. When they took it over he refused to pay rent on land that his family had been using for more than a century.

      1. Okay. When and why did the BLM take it over? I wasn’t aware the BLM ever took over land. Having the cattle on the land doesn’t mean he owned it. If he owned it, why didn’t he file a takings case and get the feds to pay him? I know the system is fucked up, but it is not that fucked up yet such that you can’t file and win a clear takings case.

        Again, he may be a victim. If he is, the media is doing a horrible job reporting on this. Just horrible.

        1. Don’t ask me. I don’t fucking know.

        2. I’m pretty sure he sued to have rights to the land, but lost because a government agent isn’t gonna give a pleb the king’s land. It’s right there plain as day in the commerce “fuck you, that’s why” clause of the constitution.

          As to the media coverage, do you honestly think they’d portray this guy as anything other than a disgruntled nut?

          1. It is not that simple GBN. Like I say below, most of those ranchers are just welfare queens who think they should get free land without paying for it.

            If you or I ran things, the BLM would have sold that land off long ago and this guy would either be paying rent or a mortgage like the rest of us or out on his ass. Most likely, he would be out on his ass since cattle ranching in the high desert makes about as much economic sense as orange farming in Alaska.

            1. ” Like I say below, most of those ranchers are just welfare queens who think they should get free land without paying for it.”

              Which has what to do with THIS case, which you admit to knowing little about?

              I just don’t get why you bother to pontificate after admitting to ignorance, you must like looking foolish and ill informed or something.

              1. This guy is a welfare queen who has no claim on this land. That is what it has to do with it.

                Shut up if you can’t think clearly.

    3. Logically you’re right, but it’s the fucking feds. Fuck ’em.

      They’d shoot this guy and anyone who supports him for a fucking tortoise. Really, fuck the feds. Hard.

      As far as I’m concerned, he’s been putting the land to use (and also isn’t a jack-booted tax leech) so it’s fucking his. He should be able to defend his property and life by using any force necessary.

      1. If/when they kill him, it won’t be over a tortoise. It will be for failure to obey.

      2. I agree to fuck the feds. That said, I have a hard time having sympathy for many cattle ranchers out there. If the BLM ever got out of the land business and sold that land off, there wouldn’t be any cattle ranching out there. It makes no economic sense and only exists because the Feds give below market leases to ranchers who are lucky enough to have the connections to get them.

        The ranchers out there are generally welfare queens. They can bitch and moan about the feds all they want and I will agree with them. That said, if the Feds ever went away and they had to buy or lease their land at fair market value like every other ranchers, those fuckers wouldn’t be in the ranching business anymore.

        1. I don’t know that much about it, but I’ve heard this from other people as well. I don’t know if that description fits this guy or not.

          The way I see it is that the land is basically useless for anything other than ranching so the government should put a fair price on it and the ranchers should form a consortium and buy it. They could then draw up a binding use agreement from there.

          1. It is useless for ranching too. It is just too dry out there. There are more cattle in Florida than all of the western states combined. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

            The value of that land is the water rights that come with it more than anything. Then there is the hunting leases. In a free market most of that land would be bought up by guide companies and used for hunting. Doubtful anyone could make enough money ranching to be able to purchase the water rights and outbid the outfitting companies. The BLM basically runs a service for people to play cowboy.

            1. I’d go tortoise hunting

            2. It is useless for ranching too. It is just too dry out there.

              If it’s useless for ranching how can someone be using it for ranching? Derp

              There are wild horses and turtles grazing there that enviro-nazis are concerned might not get their fair share of grass.

              This is how fucking stupid the bureaucrats at the BLM are:
              http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/pr….._data.html

              Notice the spelling of herd as “Heard”

              1. If it’s useless for ranching how can someone be using it for ranching? Derp

                Because they are getting the land and water for free or at way below market value.

                Land and water are generally a cost of doing business as a rancher. That is of course if you are not a fucking welfare queen in Nevada having uncle Sugar give you such for free or at below market value.

                And the BLM being idiots doesn’t make this guy any less of a fucking welfare queen. Yeah, bureaucrats suck. If he doesn’t like that, maybe this asshole should figure out how to make a living that doesn’t rely on sucking from the government tits

                1. “Because they are getting the land and water for free or at way below market value.”

                  How do we know what those market values are?

                  I don’t think we will until the government starts auctioning off the obscene amounts of BLM land. Alas, this will happen right after the General Ressurection.

                  1. Homple,

                    I agree, this land should be auctioned off. When it is though, people won’t be cattle ranching on it. Indeed, every time someone in Congress suggests doing just that, the reps from out there have a screaming fit about how auctioning it off will “kill a way of life”. These people are welfare queens. Sell that land and let whoever wants to pay the most have it and do whatever they want to with it.

              2. Do you even know how a business works Camping? You get double bonus points for posting a completely fucking idiotic statement like “well they are doing it so it must be profitable” and then adding that it is me the one with the DERP.

                I guess every rancher could get below market and rent and water and just are not smart enough to do it or something.

                If you are going to accuse other people of derp, try not making completely retarded and stupid points while doing it. You will find your charges of derp work better that way.

                1. Do you even know how a business works Camping?

                  You tell me how it works, John. Since your sustenance requires a lot more sucking on the government tit than any rancher with cows grazing on a piece of dirt the Fed’s lay claim to.

            3. There are more cattle in Florida than all of the western states combined. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

              I don’t believe you.

              1 Texas 10,900,000
              2 Nebraska 6,150,000
              3 Kansas 5,800,000
              4 California 5,250,000
              5 Oklahoma 4,300,000
              6 Missouri 3,800,000
              7 Iowa 3,700,000
              8 South Dakota 3,650,000
              9 Wisconsin 3,350,000
              10 Montana 2,550,000
              11 Colorado 2,480,000
              12 Minnesota 2,280,000
              13 Idaho 2,190,000
              14 Kentucky 2,090,000
              15 North Dakota 1,770,000
              16 Tennessee 1,760,000
              17 Arkansas 1,660,000
              18/19 Florida 1,620,000
              18/19 Pennsylvania 1,620,000

              Source.
              Compiled from USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service Data

              1. Funny, I didn’t either and I looked it up too.

                What possesses John to lie like that?

      3. As far as I’m concerned, he’s been putting the land to use (and also isn’t a jack-booted tax leech) so it’s fucking his. He should be able to defend his property and life by using any force necessary.

        He’s not claiming he owns the land. He is claiming the state of Nevada owns the land and he has rights to use it that precede the BLM claims.

        The trouble started when Bundy stopped paying grazing fees in 1993. He said he didn’t have to because his Mormon ancestors worked the land since the 1880s, giving him rights to the land.

        “We own this land,” he said, not the feds. He said he is willing to pay grazing fees but only to Clark County, not BLM.

        “Years ago, I used to have 52 neighboring ranchers,” he said. “I’m the last man standing. How come? Because BLM regulated these people off the land and out of business.”

        1. He is claiming the state of Nevada owns the land and he has rights to use it that precede the BLM claims.

          And neither the state of Nevada nor the BLM agree with that. Maybe the BLM shouldn’t own it, but this guy is an idiot if he claims they can’t or don’t own it.

          The trouble started when Bundy stopped paying grazing fees in 1993. He said he didn’t have to because his Mormon ancestors worked the land since the 1880s, giving him rights to the land.

          Since when does “my grandfather was here” mean “I own the land”.

          Here is what happened. When the feds tried to sell the land, no one would buy it. They had their chance to buy that land and didn’t do it. So the feds took it by default and leased it to this asshole and others. So after leasing it for decades, they suddenly decided it was theirs. Well fuck you. It is not yours. You should have bought it when you had the chance. And it should be sold now not given to you.

          “Years ago, I used to have 52 neighboring ranchers,” he said. “I’m the last man standing. How come? Because BLM regulated these people off the land and out of business.”

          It sucks having a landlord. If you don’t like it, buy your own fucking land.

          Fuck these people. The BLM should sell that land and when they do, these assholes will still be getting evicted, just by the new owners.

          1. When the feds tried to sell the land, no one would buy it.

            Citation needed

            1. http://object.cato.org/sites/c…..6n3-11.pdf

              There is a really good history for you. The feds spent the entire 19th Century auctioning off and then later giving away to cronies every bit of land they had. That all changed in the late 19th Century. The feds stopped selling and giving away land. Read the last paragraph of this article for the reasons why. Some of it was the Progs of the time wanting to create national parks and such. That, however, is not what happened in Nevada. The money quote from the Cato article is this

              second,the increased political pressure by various western interests to restrict entry by potential competitors who might reduce the capital value of their property

              The states and landowners in those states are the ones that got the feds to keep the land. And then they got the feds to give them sweetheart leases on the land. Those lands should have been sold. They were not because of this assholes’ ancestors. Now he and others have the nerve to say they really own that land. Bullshit.

              1. Now he and others have the nerve to say they really own that land. Bullshit.

                No, they aren’t claiming the land, they are claiming grazing rights. Something they had before the turtles became such a big concern and the BLM started limiting their herds because of it.

  45. “You know one way to help the economy? It’s for people to make more money.”

    Another way to help the economy is to stop taking money from the people who earned it and WASTING IT.

    1. I think the economy is hurt more by what the government prevents through regulation than by what it takes through taxation.

  46. China to allow stock trading between Hong Kong and Shanghai

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/04/1…..d=HP_River

  47. Cardiff University, Wales, UK: Student Union votes to “prevent affiliated societies and groups from taking part in anti-choice protests or rallies”. The vote is set aside due to procedural issues. A broad student coalition, including some choicers, opposes the proposed policy.

    http://www.catholicherald.co.u…..e-rallies/

    1. So, that includes pro-socialist rallies, right?

    1. And our fleet is all down in the Indian Ocean listening for pings.

    2. We have really got to start preparing for EMP. It wouldn’t be that hard. You just need to harden the electric grid and require things like trains and large trucks to be hardened. Doing those things alone would exponentially reduce the effect of such attack.

      It is a shame we don’t have a government that has a few hundred billion dollars to throw at a speculative threat.

      1. It is a shame we don’t have a government that has a few hundred billion dollars to throw at a speculative threat.

        Christ, that’s all they do.

        1. That was my point. I forgot the sarc tags. We piss away trillions of dollars and don’t bother to actually defend the country against attack.

      2. We do. Even if no enemy ever does a successful EMP attack, the Sun could at pretty much any time.

        1. That too. We are trillions of dollars in debt and don’t even have a decent infrastructure to show for it. The government has just stolen all of that money. Pathetic.

          1. We have armies of bureaucrats ready at a moment’s notice to save us from disasters of any kind.

            1. Retroactively save us.

      3. Doing things like this doesn’t get them elected or keep them in office, and they know it.

    1. What’s interesting about bringing Rice onto Dropbox’s board is how normal it feels. Dropbox needs people with international experience to help it at once deal with foreign governments that have blocked its use ? China, for example ? and as it works to spread a product developed in one country to others that are culturally different.

      Winning comment:

      Makes sense. The Chinese have always liked rice…

    2. I guess the Progs have an issue with a black woman getting a powerful job?

  48. You know it’s a bad start to the day when the first thing you say to yourself upon turning on your computer is: “You gotta be shitting me”. And I said that about two wholly different things.

    Are the squirrels finally tamed?

  49. What’s happening in Turkey makes me sad. It’s by far my favorite country that I’ve ever visited/lived in. I wouldn’t feel safe there now. They’re turning it into an Islamo-Fascist state.

    1. I met a Turkish expat last weekend. Her mother used to be one of the top people in the education ministry. She told me things are much worse than even the media is saying.

      First, the government has totally censored the media. If you say something they don’t like and hold you without bail while they “determine the charges”. This can last for months or years. Even though the law says you have free speech, it doesn’t matter since they can hold you without charging you almost indefinitely.

      Second, they have passed a law, that the media of course isn’t reporting, that all girls must be “home schooled” after age ten. Basically, they are cutting off access to education for all women, strictly segregating by sex all education they do have before the age of ten and turning the place into Iran.

      The government also imprisoned 700 top military officers on trumped up charges they were plotting a coup. Turkey is a NATO country and within a few years is likely to be as bad or worse of a place than Iran. Just tragic.

      1. If kicking Turkey out of NATO weren’t so dangerously risky, I’d say kick ’em out yesterday. But if that happens, Russia and its Ba’athist and Islamo-Fascist allies will gladly take them on.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if there were military officials plotting a coup. In Turkey, at least in the past, the military saw itself as the guardian of Ataturk’s (secular) legacy. I got to meet the last guy who headed up a coup and got hisself some power: Kenan Evren.

        Hope there is a coup sometime soon.

        1. I hope there is too.

        2. I think the military isn’t in a position to do that anymore. They backed off their traditional nip-in-the-bud tactics back when the EU was making noise about actually letting them in if they were sufficiently democratic, and then they hesitated when Erdogan managed to actually wind up in power, and now Erdogan’s gotten too entrenched, too many of his people and his informers in the military.

      2. “What’s the problem, the government can ban whatever schools it wants!”

        /Ayaan Hirsi Ali

        1. When you look at what Islamists are doing to Turkey and a lot of other places, you start to think Ali has a point. Being principled and supporting freedom is great right up until you run into someone who is violent and will use your respect for freedom as a weakness that is exploited to take your freedom away.

          It is easy for you and I in a huge secular country where Muslims are a tiny and generally insecure minority to think she is crazy and intolerant. If we lived somewhere like Turkey where Muslims were the majority, we would probably see things a lot differently.

      3. I’m also worried about a close friend’s parents. The father is an artist and professor and the mother is a lawyer and a judge. Those types are usually the first against the wall when ignorance takes power.

      4. I work with a bunch of Turks. I knew about the show trials of the officers, but not about the star chamber imprisonments and the uneducating girls. Horrible. Hopefully they have a coup soon.

    2. I have to agree. I’ve only.been there.once but I would have gladly returned numerous.times as a tourist. The people were very friendly, and the sheer amount of.history there is.breathtaking. It is distressing to.see what is.happening there.

      1. I have never been but I want to go. It seems every Turk I meet tells me the same thing; go as soon as you can before its too late.

        1. It’s probably too late to go to some parts of the country, like the northeast. You can probably still have some good times in Istanbul, Izmir or Antalya, though. Since I’m not a big beach person, the last two don’t interest me. I’ve always wanted to go white water rafting and hiking in the northeast, but I don’t think that’s feasible now.

  50. “President Obama told donors yesterday that he wants a “Congress that works” and cited the ongoing fight over immigration reform as an example of politics being considered more seriously than policy.”

    And we could use a president that works; I can cite a certain disastrous ‘medical insurance’ bill as evidence of politics being considered more seriously than policy.

    1. What could be more serious policy consideration than “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it”?

  51. Good news out of Capitol Hill: this thing passed committee. Govtrack gives it a 28% chance of passing the Senate.

    1. Hmm, I’m unfamiliar w/ the basic tech, but kinda surprised to see such a fireball out of the “gun” when I thought it was about electro-magnetic propulsion. ?

  52. Why I fucking hate bureaucrats, especially the mid-level ones, part XXXVIII: we had a web site that was due to launch on Monday. We also had a new boss start work last week.

    New boss put the launch on hold and we are now completely redesigning the site from scratch. Because it’s a very high profile project and he’s gotta have his shot at lifting his leg all over it.

    Your tax $$ at work.

    1. Hehe, my new boss (next month) was running this and not only escaped without a scratch, but is essentially getting promoted via the new job.
      http://www.federaltimes.com/ar…..dud-system

    2. Kap Kris: do you work for the government? That seems like a choice designed to drive a libertarian crazy.

  53. President Obama told donors yesterday that he wants a “Congress that works” and cited the ongoing fight over immigration reform as an example of politics being considered more seriously than policy.

    Because nothing is more apolitical than a politician telling other politicians to make political changes to an arbitrary policy of restricting the flow of people and goods and services, a policy that was caused by politicians making political calculations.

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