A.M. Links: Mayor in Eastern Ukraine Shot, Democrats Worried Obama Will Give in After Midterms, MH370 Search Area to Be Expanded


Credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund/wikimedia
  • The mayor of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv has been shot. Hennadiy Kernes was reportedly shot by an unidentified gunman and is in critical condition. Earlier today President Obama announced new sanctions related to the crisis in Ukraine that target top Russian officials.
  • Congressional Democrats are concerned that Obama will concede to Republicans on some policy areas after the midterms.
  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today that the MH370 search area will be expanded to include more of the Indian Ocean's floor, which could take eight months to search.
  • American negotiators do not think that the recent unity deal between Hamas and Fatah will end peace talks with Israel. 
  • At least 16 people have been killed by tornadoes in Arkansas.
  • Obama has said that the U.S. does not want to contain China.

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  1. At least 16 people have been killed by tornadoes in Arkansas.

    We’re not in Arkansas anymore.

    1. 16 people have been killed by tornadoes

      Time for some common sense tornado control legislation.

      1. Is this another Bush Global Warming legacy, or have those nuts finally given up on one?

      2. Indeed. Why does anyone *need* a tornado?

  2. Jobless mum advises her daughter, 19, to get pregnant – for an easy life on benefits
    …Sinead Clarkson, 36, has no qualifications, has never worked and rakes in ?1,200 a month from the State.

    She has now admitted encouraging her 19-year-old daughter Melissa to follow her shameless example and ‘work the system’ by having a baby.

    Melissa became pregnant six months ago, and is now in line for an extra ?400 a month courtesy of taxpayers when her baby is born, as well as a two-bedroom council house.

    Her mother, who has another daughter, Amie, aged 12, said: ‘I am better off on benefits. I refuse to work for a pittance and struggle.

    ‘I don’t have any qualifications so it is easier to claim money than persuade an employer to give me a job. …

    1. Nothing. Left. To. Cut.

    2. Incentives, they matter.

    3. a pittance and struggle

      Nice band name.

      1. It also happens to be my current retirement plan.

        1. “I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

        2. I’ll need an overseer for my monocle factory. It’s a cushy job, provided you don’t mind using the lash on the less productive slaves employees.

          1. Or on the owner, the filthy filthy man

    4. Pure skank

    5. As Sir Humphrey Appleby said, you can have just as much unemployment as you are willing to pay for.

  3. Congressional Democrats are concerned that Obama will concede to Republicans on some policy areas after the midterms.

    And that will cut into their post mid-term work on K Street?

  4. Toyota Said to Plan to Move U.S. Sales Office to Texas

    Employees will be informed of the plan today, said the people, who asked not to be identified disclosing private conversations. Steve Curtis, a Toyota spokesman, didn’t immediately return a call on the matter.

    The surprise move is a blow to the Golden State, the biggest U.S. auto market and proponent of the strictest clean-air rules. Toyota’s Prius hybrid has been California’s top-selling model for the past two years and helped secure a leading 22 percent market share. It also represents a victory for Texas Governor Rick Perry, who’s made repeated visits to California to lure businesses to his state with promises of lower taxes and easier regulations.

    1. Uh oh. Their headquarters is nearby. I know a couple of people who work there.

      1. They might be thrilled if they see it as an excuse to leave CA?

        1. As disruptive as it might be in the short term, I think most of them would be pleasantly surprised if they moved from CA to TX. Was looking at new houses yesterday in the burbs outside Austin, and high 270Ks got you a nice place with granite countertops and whatnot, and around 400K got you an eye-poppingly luxurious executive manse.

          For which you can’t even buy a tiny starter house in much of CA.

          1. All lies man. We are full here. And traffic is terrible.

            1. You know, they tried that in about 1990 — just not building any more roads to keep the noveau out, and it didn’t work. I may be shipping back at the end of the year. My wife is applying to UT for a Masters program, and I would love to get back to Texas, although I’d like to end up somewhere that isn’t Austin in the long run.

    2. The surprise move is a blow to the Golden State, the biggest U.S. auto market and proponent of the strictest clean-air rules.

      Enactment of Hybrid taxes on Toyota models to commence in the Fall legislative session.

    3. This is what Democrats are talking about when they complain of jobs being outsourced to the third world.

    4. This is what Democrats are talking about when they complain of jobs being outsourced to the third world.

    5. They built a huge plant in San Antonio a few years ago. Remember, the US auto industry is dead and was murdered by the evils of the world market.

      1. Well, since that is the Japanese auto industry…

        1. It employs US workers though, and that’s what matters more?

        2. San Antonio is in Japan?

    6. Hah ha! Eff you, California!

      Remember when treated wood wouldn’t rot away in the ground after a couple years? I do. I was reminded of it as I replaced a friend’s back porch, made out of the new copper quat stuff, which is the only thing you can get now that Cali banned the other stuff, presumably on the ground that people who licked the wood too much became measurably more stupid, and wanted to move to there. Dish detergent that won’t clean crap, fast-drying poly that is still sticky goo after 24 hours, light fixtures with two-prong plugs that only take $9 light bulbs which, sorry, eff you, don’t last a friggin’ hour longer than the incandescent it replaced.

      California is the reason I can’t have nice things.

      1. Finish Quantum dishwasher detergent is the only thing I’ve found that works anymore.

        1. I will be looking in to that soon.

      1. The Blutebots are on the move

      2. Has the makings of a fairy tale.

      3. He reaped what he had sown.

    1. He deserves to be arrested just for owning a restaurant named Healthalicious.

      1. At least it’s not Ye Olde Healthalicious Shoppe.

        1. Or “Eatery”. WTF is an “Eatery”?

    2. New York Politician, not a surprise. We’re still in the running for most jailed legislators. (Not governers though, Illinois has us beat there).

      1. Spitzer should be in jail for spying on Joe Bruno.

        Even if Bruno was as corrupt as the day is long, Spitzer was (and still is, I suppose) an evil monster.

        And Andrew Cuomo was derelict in his duty as AG in not prosecuting Spitzer. Off to jail with him, too. I’m just sorry to see that my fellow NYers, having elected one disaster of an AG to be their governor, turned around and elected another. I’m really to the point that state AGs ought to be an appointed position, and probably constitutionally barred from running for further office.

        1. If the NY AG is to be appointed, they should be appointed by the governer of texas.

      2. 4 of the last 7 off to the pen. IL! IL! IL!

      3. (Not governers though, Illinois has us beat there).

        And don’t you forget it!

        *shakes fist furiously*

    3. Undone by Wesen, no doubt.

    4. Cuomo was not kidding when he said the other team was not welcome in NY.

    5. “R-NY”


      1. Staten Island used to be one of the few safe zones for the Republicans in NY. Those voters have been steadily moving to Monmouth County over the last 15 years or so and have been replaced by Brooklynites that continue to vote like Brooklynites. Between demographics and the NY Republican Party’s pathological need to lose, SI will be voting just like the rest of the city before long.

        About Grimm, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  5. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today that the MH370 search area will be expanded to include more of the Indian Ocean’s floor, which could take eight months to search.

    Have they considered going door to door in Boston?

  6. Obama has said that the U.S. does not want to contain China.

    Ah, the Inverse Dan Patrick foreign policy.

    1. “You can’t contain them, you can only hope to stop them!”

  7. The mayor of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv has been shot.

    Hopefully Dianne Feinstein wasn’t there.

    1. ?

      *** gets more coffee ***

      1. Does this reference the Moscone/Milk assassination?

        1. Jim Jones was not a character in the movie Milk.

      2. She would put a finger in a bullet hole.


        1. I wouldn’t want her finger in me.

        2. “Doubting Dianne”, eh?

          1. Ooh, good one! Seasonally timely too!


            1. What is going on??? When did you turn to the Dark side???

        3. “I found Harvey on his stomach. I tried to get a pulse and put my finger through a bullet hole. He was clearly dead.”

          Really? She put her finger through a hole made by a .38 special? I call bullshit. People don’t act that way, and she would have to have a 1/4″ finger.

          1. She stabbed him with her talon, which was the actual cause of death.

  8. Earlier today President Obama announced new sanctions related to the crisis in Ukraine that target top Russian officials.

    The matryoshka doll market is already volatile enough as it is.

    1. It really is dolls all the way down!

  9. American negotiators do not think that the recent unity deal between Hamas and Fatah will end peace talks with Israel.

    No, but the one million other things probably will.

  10. In the long run, wars make us safer and richer

    So yes, war is hell ? but have you considered the alternatives? When looking upon the long run of history, it becomes clear that through 10,000 years of conflict, humanity has created larger, more organized societies that have greatly reduced the risk that their members will die violently. These better organized societies also have created the conditions for higher living standards and economic growth. War has not only made us safer, but richer, too.

    Thanks, Hitler!

    1. Take the long view. The world of the Stone Age, for instance, was a rough place; 10,000 years ago, if someone used force to settle an argument, he or she faced few constraints.

      Can’t have rule-of-law without killing a few million in armed conflicts every now an then. What you are, fucking anarchists?

    2. Ian Morris, a professor of classics at Stanford University

      Sounds legit. I bet he has first hand experience.

    3. Then let’s bomb Chicago to smithereens. Instant stimulus!

      1. Bomb *Stanford*! It’ll be *classic*!

      2. Could we make that Philadelphia instead, and leave it as a warning to Chicago? Or at least wait until the Cup playoffs are done?

        1. Could we make that Philadelphia instead,

          That’s already been tried 🙁

          1. Ah, yes.

            “Let’s MOVE!”

      3. Krugnuts agrees.

    4. Well, history is what it is and we are where we are because of everything that has happened. So it is certainly true in a sense.
      It seems fairly likely, for example, that there would have been a lot more wars in North America had the US states all been completely independent (or at least a lot more small wars instead of one really big one).

    5. In the long run, we’re all dead.

      1. If that asshole has his way, in the short run, too.

  11. European elections: Ukip under repeated fire ? but it’s not putting off the voters, say the polls

    The Ukip leader endured what was one of the toughest weeks of his political career and yet support for his party was sustained. Mr Farage could even come first in the elections in less than four weeks.

    A series of Ukip posters that warned “26 million people are looking for work ? and whose jobs are they after?” and “British workers are hit hard by unlimited cheap labour” were condemned by opponents but a YouGov poll showed that the majority of voters ? 57 per cent ? believe the ads were a “hard-hitting reflection of reality”, and 59 per cent said they were not racist.

    1. The establishment and cosmotarians really, really hate UKIP.

      1. Anything that threatens the status quo and the cocktail party circuit is worthy of vilification.

      2. They must be doing something right. At least they have excellent taste in enemies.

  12. The mayor of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv has been shot.

    He lacked Hillary’s ninja ducking powers.

    1. Wasn’t it already kinda dumb?

      1. “Saints alive!”

      2. I once took a shit that looked like Mary. Do I get to be a saint too?

        1. You? Why you? Now, your turd, on the other hand…

          1. Clearly, my butthole is holy.

            1. Clearly, my butthole is holy
              Avoid the sacrament involving anything buttholey water.

            2. When the toast comes out with the visage of christ, it is not the toaster that is celebrated by the zealots.

        2. No, but the excrement gets to be enshrined.

        3. Dude, that shit was insane. Or maybe you meant a different Mary…

        4. I’ve put up with Mary Stack. Do I get to be a saint too?

          1. No,no! That = the patience of Job.

    2. “John XXIII: The ‘Best Pope for The Jewish People’

      “Holocaust scholar says John XXIII saved thousands during Holocaust, persuaded Vatican not to oppose Israel independence.”


    3. It’s the Hall of Fame for the catholics. Just wait long enough and … You get a car! You get a car! etc

    4. Record in the modern age, maybe. The reason they have all the Canonization rules is that people were just declaring people saints immediately, and then it turned out that St. so-and-so was really a scumbag all along.

  13. grr…

    Ky. GOP poll: McConnell leads Bevin 51% to 34%

    The Senate Minority Leader continues to poll well against both his conservative Republican primary challenger and his presumed Democratic opponent according the latest Human Events/Gravis poll of 1,359 Kentucky voters as they hit the final stretch towards the May 20 primary.

    Among GOP Kentucky voters, Sen. A. Mitchell McConnell outpolls businessman Matthew Bevin 51 percent to 34 percent, said Doug Kaplan, the president of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based polling and call center company that conducted the poll. The telephone survey between April 15 and 17 and carries a margin of error of 3 percent.

    1. This truly makes me angry. I want McConnell out. To be honest, I want all those fuckheads out.

    2. This is as good a place as any to repeat that I’ve been in Mitch McConnell’s bedroom, several times.

  14. Congressional Democrats are concerned that Obama will concede to Republicans on some policy areas after the midterms.

    Somebody’s concerned about his legacy.

    1. He have more flexibility after the election.

    2. The fucker wouldn’t concede that the sky is blue if doing so could be seen as an indictment of his infallibility.

    3. Democrats should be worried that Obama will be the only Democrat left.

  15. E.J. Dionne: The gun supremacists’ folly

    Oh yes, and while conservatives claim to hate the centralization of power, this (Georgia) law wipes out a series of local gun regulations. The gun supremacists just don’t trust those pesky local elected officials.

    People with a gun license who try to carry a weapon onto an airplane get a nice break under this bill. If they’re caught with a gun at a security checkpoint, nothing happens as long as they leave the area. Try, try again. Watch out if you connect through Atlanta.

    And law and order goes out the window. As Niraj Chokshi noted in The Post, this statute gets rid of state requirements that firearms dealers maintain records of sales and purchases. Databases on license holders that span multiple jurisdictions are banned. Those who commit gun crimes must be chuckling, “Can you find me now?”

    1. Limiting government != centralization of power.

    2. Gun owners should be implanted with GPS chips so we know where they are at all times. Then, whenever there is a gun crime, they should all have to prove it wasn’t them or go to jail. Because they’re all bad people. We know this because they own guns.

    3. Gun supremacists? How clever.

      1. I always preferred “Gundamentalist” it’s what the no-information team blue shill at the local paper calls us in his rants.

      2. DOG WHISTLE

    4. Dionne is a dipshit of the first order. To him, there can be no limitations on the power of democracy. If the mob does it, it must be legal.

      1. Sound like anyone around here?

    5. “Gun supremacists”. That’s pretty desperate. What is that even supposed to mean? Obviously meant to make you think of “white supremacist”.

      1. Gun owner = racist! Duh!

        1. Gun Klux Klan

      2. Yeah, that’s a new, but utterly unsurprising one to me, considering just how popular intellectually dishonest oblique and not-so-oblique smears of racism are these days.

  16. What is this doing in the NYT?

    Sadly, the talk after the attack on Mr. Utash wasn’t about a man who stopped to do the right thing. It wasn’t about Ms. Hughes, the gun-toting angel of mercy who saw no color except the red of his blood. It wasn’t about the use of justifiable force or the value of carrying a sidearm.

    Also, 49er rhymes with whiner.

    1. Becuase the NFL has a big pile of money and dammit, that just isn’t fair.

  17. Fire started to drive out snakes destroyed barn, other structures

    The 82-year-old said he’d seen a couple of copperheads behind a mobile home he used as storage. So he thought Thursday was a pretty enough day to “smoke ’em out,” he told a Post reporter.

    He said he poured kerosene on the ground and lit it. The fire quickly spread to a barn, two sheds and the mobile home.

    “I thought now would be a good time to do it, but it wasn’t,” he said.

    1. “I thought now would be a good time to do it, but it wasn’t,” he said.

      Ah, wisdom achieved.

      1. Even if it’s just the grill, when I decide to start a fire the first thing I do is pull out the hose and turn on the water. This in a place that gets more rain than Seattle.

    2. However did he make it to 82?

  18. This is – like – totally gay.

    ‘Man Up,’ ‘Don’t Be A Pussy’ Labeled Offensive Language at Duke University

    A new word-discouragement campaign at Duke University has labeled phrases such as “Man Up,” “That’s So Gay,” and “Don’t Be a Pussy” offensive language that “delegitimizes” homosexuality and oppresses and insults people.

    But as the campaign has gained national popularity, its detractors have bristled at the effort, calling it a politically correct war on words that will stifle free speech and suggesting its true aim is to redefine terms to control public opinion and ? ultimately ? public policy.

    In fact, the “You Don’t Say” campaign creators have admitted as much.

    1. “Don’t Be a Pussy” … “delegitimizes” homosexuality

      Go on ….

        1. OK, Ted — because I trust you I will click that link.

          *** clicks link ***

        2. There is a rather good study of 1970s British TV called Mrs Slocombe’s Pussy, which is recommended if you’re into that sort of thing

          1. Is it anything like that genetic creation out of China a couple of weeks ago?

    2. How many of the campaign creators came from the English department?

    3. Because gay people need to man up? Now who’s being offensive.

  19. 7 year itch: Study finds men don’t change underwear daily

    When it comes to your underwear, how old is too old?

    According to researchers in England, men hold onto their undies an average of seven years.

    The survey also found many men don’t change their underwear every day.

    So why do men keep their trusty underpants so long?

    1. “Turn ’em inside out, and they’re good for another ten days.”

    2. Because they don’t have holes where they’re not supposed to have holes?

  20. Early voting for the primary starts today in Georgia. I’ll be going to my county courthouse later this morning.

  21. it becomes clear that through 10,000 years of conflict, humanity has created larger, more organized societies

    The unabashed fetishization of centralized power, on display. This person probably whacks off to World Government fantasies.

    1. I would guess he would want Pharaoh to be the model for government – no thing and no one was not Pharaoh’s to command.

    2. By that logic 9850 years of slavery and oppression of women were cornerstones of such progress.

      Correlation is not causation.

  22. Mike Lee’s Shadow Party
    The Utah senator pushes his reform agenda for the GOP.

    From his office in Washington, D.C., he is operating what a senior aide describes as a “shadow party,” lending support to insurgent Republican candidates and churning out a series of policy proposals intended to put the GOP in a better position to win in 2016 and beyond. The proposals, which together Lee calls a “conservative reform agenda,” are intended to serve as inspiration for the party’s presidential candidates.

    On Thursday, Lee, Republican colleague Ted Cruz, and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin were in Tulsa headlining a “Liberty Rally” for Senate candidate T. W. Shannon, the former state-house speaker who is locked in a primary battle with representative James Lankford, a member of the Republican House leadership. From there, they jetted to southwestern Nebraska to raise money for Senate candidate Ben Sasse, a college president battling former state treasurer and Navy pilot Shane Osborn for the party’s nomination in May.

  23. “I thought now would be a good time to do it, but it wasn’t,” he said.

    The old “It seemed like a good idea at the time” defense.

    1. Hey, that’s better than “I forgot” — at least it indicates you were *thinking*.

  24. Early voting for the primary starts today in Georgia. I’ll be going to my county courthouse later this morning.

    VOTE, America; early and often!

  25. Warning: This Column Will Offend You
    Should students be warned that reading The Great Gatsby might “trigger” a past trauma? The campus censors think so. But they are only protecting your feelings.

    The poison is spreading, with even less intelligent students across the country demanding their schools take action. At Rutgers, an opinion piece in the student newspaper demanded that “trigger warnings” be affixed to various great works of literature, fearing the tender souls sleeping through English classes might confront difficult social issues:

    For instance, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s critically acclaimed novel, The Great Gatsby, possesses a variety of scenes that reference gory, abusive and misogynistic violence. Virginia Woolf’s famous cerebral narrative, Mrs. Dalloway, paints a disturbing narrative that examines the suicidal inclinations and post-traumatic experiences of an English war veteran. And Junot Diaz’s critically acclaimed work, This is How You Lose Her, observes domestic violence and misogynistic culture in disturbing first-person narrations.

    1. I demand that anyone who calls for a “trigger warning” be beaten with a rattan cane and read treatises on free speech until they repent. They get off sooner if they point out the hypocracy afterwards of punishing them for the content of their speech.

    2. One of those who remained said, with a jabbing finger, that mine was the argument of someone “unaware of his gender privilege.”

      I suppose at some point “Fuck you” becomes a legitimate rebuttal.

    3. If the Great Gatsby triggers PTSD in women, wouldn’t something like Beloved trigger even worse in black students? Certainly Rigberta Menchu’s work needs to be banned so that Hispanic students are not traumatized by reading it.

      1. Rigoberta Menchu’s work should of course be in the fiction section of the library.

        And I’d think it would be the Native Americans, not the Hispanics, who would be traumatized by it.

        1. It is total fiction. But many students who we call Hispanics are actually part Indian as well.

          1. Since Hispanic is a linguistic and cultural category, you can be completely Indian and completely Hispanic at the same time.

    4. The stupid, it burns.

      All hail the new censors, making the old censors look downright reasonable.

    5. What the fuck? I read both of those works (and “Beloved”) between the 8th and 10th grade. Why in the fuck are these students not complaining that they’re paying $30-40k a year to be taught in college what high school kids were taught a mere generation ago?

      1. Because they are uneducated morons more concerned with feelings and triggers than with actual education and challenging ideas.

      2. Yeah. In college you are supposed to read boring “serious literature” that no one wants to read.

      3. Why in the fuck are these students not complaining that they’re paying $30-40k a year to be taught in college what high school kids were taught a mere generation ago?

        Because they’re paying that money for a credential, not an education, that allows them to be employed, an otherwise worthless scrap of paper – and most of them know it.

      4. I’d also add that a book being used a lot in high schools doesn’t mean that it is not also worthy of study in college. That’s a rather odd objection really. Being taught a book in one class doesn’t mean you have used the book up.

        1. Perhaps, but the level of reading comprehension required for those books is high school, if that.

          I watched “Secretariat” a while back and remarked that the family sat around the table reciting passages from the classics when the kids were teens and pre-teens. And they discussed the books themes. Those same books are now being taught as post-grad-level writing.

          I understand where you’re coming from, Zeb, but I fear we’ll be assigning college students “Hop On Pop” in another few decades.

          1. College is definitely dumbing down, I can’t argue with that.

            I never took any English classes in college, so I don’t know what it was like then or what it is now. Nor have I ever read Gatsby. But it struck me that maybe it is a good thing sometimes for English majors to study accessible classics of American writing rather than just complicated academic fiction written mostly to impress other English majors.

  26. Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may be lengthening the growing season of grasses and other plants, according to a study published in Nature.

    1. Unpossible. Increased CO2 only brings negative effects.

    2. Longer growing seasons!! DOOOOM!!11!!!

      1. You mock, but I fear our new intelligent vegetable overlords.

        1. Beware the sentient chili
          which burbles away on your stove
          The peppers are silently plotting
          with tomatoes, legumes and cloves
          At night when you’re comfortably sleeping
          and lie unaware in your beds
          The vegetables plan insurrection
          the lettuce are seeking new heads…

  27. oh. yay.

    Bob Schieffer: Romney May Run if Jeb Bush Doesn’t

    The veteran CBS newsman said that despite Romney’s repeated claims that he’s not interested in joining the GOP race for 2016, the ex-Massachusetts governor could run if former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush opts against seeking the nomination.

    “I have a source that told me that if Jeb Bush decides not to run, that Mitt Romney may actually try it again,” Schieffer said during a panel discussion on the CBS Sunday morning news show.

    1. If the establishment rolls out Romney as the best they can do, they are pretty much admitting defeat. Seriously, everyone keeps saying Rand Paul can’t win. Who is going to beat him? Maybe Ted Cruz, but I think the establishment would like that even less.

      1. Between Paul and Cruz, I prefer Paul. I’m trying to remember why. Something Cruz did (or a policy stance he had)

        1. I would prefer Paul. But I could live with Cruz over Jeb Bush or certainly Hillary. People on here will have a fit over Cruz being some kind of Neocon SOCON Manchurian candidate. Cruz is less hawkish than Hillary and right about a lot of the same Paul is right about.

          1. at this point, I’ll take what I can get. Even a “30-50% libertarian” is better than what we have now.

            1. If Cruz is 30% Libertarian, he would be t he most libertarian President since Coolidge. I am not seeing how Libertarians could have much of a bitch with that, though I am sure they will.

              1. Ted Cruz could never get elected. He’s a Tea Party KKK white supremacist or something.

                I like to think Rand Paul would have a better chance of getting elected, because he’d be more likely to make some kind of truly radical campaign promise, like that he’d pardon all nonviolent drug prisoners on day 1, or something like that. And unless I’m way off base, I think something like that would be more popular than unpopular.

                1. I think you are absolutely right Warty. Paul comes across as young and really subversive. Maybe I am naive, but I don’t think the Democrats will be able to paint Paul with the “he is just a racist old white guy” brush like they do every other Republican. Cruz is much more vulnerable to that and a weaker candidate than Paul.

                  1. Plus, I like having Cruz in the Senate. Watching the very junior Senator making his elder colleagues squirm and cry “That’s not how we do things!” is priceless.

                    1. I agree Restoras. Cruz is a great person to have in the Senate. He could be the Ted Kennedy of the right. He could stay in there 40 years and really raise hell and also do a lot to placate the SOCON wing of the GOP. The Democrats, until Obama, never let the real crazy left get the Presidential nomination. They kept people like Kennedy in the Senate to keep them happy. The Republicans could do the same with Cruz and the SOCONs.

                    2. The only thing that kept Ted Kennedy in the Senate were his driving and question-answering skills on one occasion. The Dem establishment would have given their collective right arm to get him elected President.

              2. If Cruz is 30% Libertarian, he would be t he most libertarian President since Coolidge. I am not seeing how Libertarians could have much of a bitch with that, though I am sure they will.

                No, they won’t. But a decent number of people who write for reason will.

            2. Purity Test FAILURE!!!

              1. Bring on the Witchfinder!

  28. http://www.usatoday.com/story/…..n/8282843/

    The politicization of Science Fiction fandom. I don’t read that much SCFI but many on here do. Curious to hear what the people on here who do read a lot of SCFI think of this.

    1. So I guess this is what it was like to live during a Red Scare?

      1. Pretty much. The thing I hate about leftists most is how the politicize everything. Everyone is judged by politics. So if someone writes a great book but has the wrong politics, they must hate that book. It doesn’t matter that Orson Scott Card is a great writer (to take an example I have never read Card so have no idea if he is good), he has the wrong politics so his books must be suppressed. What a horrible way to live.

        1. I tried to read Card – he bored the ever living crap out of me. My dad likes his work for some reason. I found it impossible to care about the characters and couldn’t see a sign of a plot.

          1. A lot of people love him. Like I said I have no idea how good he is. Regardless, clearly some people like his writing and there is no reason to think a lot of Progs wouldn’t as well. The ones who would deprive themselves of the experience because of their idiotic politics.

        2. It’s truly odious. The thing I don’t get is how they don’t realize how much they’re harming themselves by doing it. Not only are they depriving themselves of art they may well enjoy, but it’s just plain not good for you to hate. Negative energy and cortisol and all that shit, you know?

          1. Andrew Breitbart wrote a piece one time about how the Frankfurt school Marxist fled Nazi Germany and moved to Santa Monica, California where he grew up. These were the assholes who came up with the idea of “repressive tolerance”. Anyway, Breitbart talks about how they were all miserable nihilistic people who lived in a house near the beach and walked around in full suits in 80 degree weather. They were living on the beach in Southern California in the 1940s and 50s, pretty much the closest thing to paradise as one could get. Yet, they were miserable, rotten people who hated the place and most of all hated the freedom of the place.

            I know a lot of soft leftists who just don’t know any better and are leftist because it is an easy way to fit in. Those people are often happy. The real believer leftists, however, are always fucked up miserable people in my experience.

            1. The real believer leftists, however, are always fucked up miserable people in my experience

              I used that as the starting point for a supporting villain in the trilogy I’m working on (I’m halfway through writing book 2, the editor has almost finished with book 1, release date information and shameless promotion to be forthcoming). She’s only had one scene so far (being more important for the third book than the second) but it consisted mostly of attending a paid-for event (a retirement party) and looking for excuses to complain rather than make an effort to enjoy herself. Scarily, her dialogue ended up resembling too many people I know in real life.

        3. What is it about people that makes them closed minded to other ideas, other ways of living and thinking, once they embrace one idea or set of ideas as dogma?

          You see it in everything but especially in politics and religion. Unfortunately, inflexible, dogmatic views in both of those realms of human action have led to a lot of bad things.

          1. It is because they are miserable people who hate themselves. Most of the really loathsome and awful evangelicals are reformed druggies or drunks. They hate themselves and see religion as a way of punishing themselves and by extension everyone else.

            Leftist politics is a little different. It seems to attract really self important people who are angry at the world for not recognizing their genius. It is a weird combination of ego (I am a fucking genius and none of these idiots recognize it) and self hatred because deep down they hate themselves for somehow not making the world realize their genius. If you really think of yourself as a genius yet also see yourself as a failure, you are going to have a weird mix of self hatred and ego.

            Leftism really appeals to people who completely lack humility. There is no God to humble yourself before in socialism. There is no unmeetable standard that makes us all sinners. Leftism says you as you are can the world. That is very attractive to the sort of people I describe. It doesn’t make them any less miserable however.

            1. If you really think of yourself as a genius yet also see yourself as a failure, you are going to have a weird mix of self hatred and ego.

              Wil E Coyote Syndrome?

              1. No, Wile E Coyote was an ACME product tester, hense the high failure rate, unlimited access to products, constant return to Acme for future devices, and never having to pay.

        4. (to take an example I have never read Card so have no idea if he is good)

          You never read or watched “Ender’s Game”?

          His best work, though some of the sequels were pretty good too IMO.

          1. No. It never appealing to me. I am not big on “kid saves the world” kind of stuff.

            1. Harry Potter might have some words for you.

              1. I never read those books either, thought I watched and enjoyed the movies.

    2. I don’t think I’ve read anything that won a Hugo in the past two decades.

      Part of me wonders if they’ve lost all relevence.

      The rest of me knows they have.

      1. It is like pop music critics “best of the year” lists. Go look at the various list from some random year 10 or more years from now. Chances are three quarters or more of the music listed on those lists has been completely forgotten.

        Another example is academic history. Nearly all of the history being written today that anyone reads or cares about is written by amateurs and journalists. Occasionally there is a Doris Kerns Godwin book that sells big but very few pure academic historians publish anything anyone wants to read.

        When you judge things strictly by politics and political correctness, things get very boring very quickly.

        1. I judge things by how much they held my interest and how much the author made me care about the characters without being overt in their manipulation.

          I can’t fathom seeing the world through a political lens.

          1. Me either. One of my favorite writers is Babel. He was an old school Bolshevik. His politics were odious. His writing however was fantastic.

            1. Just read through the Sterling thread and I have to let you know that both shriek and Bo Cara, Esq. were wrong in their tiff with you yesterday.

              1. Thank you. It was too nice of a day to bother with it, but I never remade my larger point. In the day and age where everything can and probably will be recorded, we have to make more of an effort to ignore the really private things that come out and separate that from how someone acts.

                I don’t want to live in a world where an angry ex wife or g/f can ruin my career by drudging up a recording of something I once said to her in a heat of an argument. If I get drunk and say or do something stupid in public, well that is just too bad for me. What I or anyone else says privately however shouldn’t matter.

                1. An interesting post you might like on the matter:

                2. You know that I agree with you – which is why I don’t hold it against Alec Baldwin for his rant that he unleashed on his daughter.

                  1. Exactly, whose kid hasn’t at one time or another driven them to such frustration that they said things they later regretted?

      2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H…..Best_Novel

        I’ve read about half. I stopped reading Haldeman, Scalzi, and Robinson because their politics bled through too much.

    3. So much good SciFi addresses social issues…hard to see how political views are removed. Having said that, I never cared about Nobel Peace Prizes, Pulitzer Prizes, Oscars…or Hugo Awards. The fact that they all become politicized at some point just seems like a natural part of BigAward? Industry..

      1. Science Fiction is about people and human nature. A lot of bad science fiction has harped on social matters.

        1. Science Fiction is about people and human nature.

          I agree…most good stories, scifi or otherwise, are…characters and the various ways they demonstrate human nature can create dramatic tension in ways that can be, for me, described as “social issues”. I also agree that harping on the social tension, like harping on anything, is generally ‘bad’ writing.

      2. A lot of good SF involves politics, but the best stuff is about what the author thinks might happen given what we know about human nature rather than a picture of how the author thinks things should be. It can be about politics and social issues without being a political work.

        1. It can be about politics and social issues without being a political work.

          I think I may have been more clear if I had said ‘So much good SciFi incorporates social and political issues.” rather than ‘addresses’ them.

    4. It’s been building for years. The backlash against cyberpunk in the late 80s was the first time the pot really started boiling over. There was this argument that cyberpunk wiped out most of the “gains” of the 70s turning SF away from the whiteheterocismale traditions of the Golden Age.

      The Hugo and the Nebulas both became exercises in “more PC than thou” and Ursula K. Le Guin began getting tongue baths for any drivel she dribbled out. (Not to mention the embarrassing revision of history that the Norton Anthology of Science Fiction she edited represented.)

      They wanted it to stop being a boy’s club. They got what they wanted. Male readership is at an all time low.

      1. But I want to read about yet another teenage angst-filled heroine who feels different.

        1. Uhh… crap, lets see what I’ve got in the cast sheet and see if I can provide. Uhh… Snarky older sister, nope. Straw Libertarian, nope. Well adjusted, self-confident primma donna, nope. Gang leader with a temper problem, nope. Bookish magical girl, nope. Bubbly optimistic, naieve girl, nope. I’m running out of Heroines! And one of those wasn’t even teenaged.

          Sorry, scruffy, I can’t write that type of girl.

      2. Let me guess, female readership hasn’t gone up near enough to make up for the lost male readership?

        Scitfi, especially when it deals with space, offers much the same canvas that westerns do. It is most conducive to more traditional male values such as the martial, the explorer, the lone outcast and such. Such a setting really lends itself to an examination of the interaction between nomadic freedom and civilization. It does not lend itself very well, however, to the kind of self absorbed woe is me victimhood that modern Leftists love.

        1. Correct. And given the huge contractions of the western and spy genres, male readership of fiction has plummeted across the board.

          I can’t find the article I read recently, but if I recall correctly only 33% of men 18-33 have read a fiction book in the last 12 months. Women of the same age group were at 83%.

          1. This could tiue into the attack on boys in school. An attachment to reading is generally only developed at an early age, and when it’s associated with the obnoxious constraints being placed upon student activity these days, it can often turn the potential reader away from the passtime.

          2. one of the reasons I stopped writing my (crappy) ebooks is because of the readership. It skews heavily female, and with the type of work I do – mystery/thriller, a little sci-fi, and whatnot – I had a feeling I wasn’t exactly hitting the right target audience.

            This was the final straw:

            The other day I was browsing our February 2014 Smashwords bestseller list at Publishers Weekly and realized that all the top 25 bestsellers were written by women. Cool beans.

            Wondering if this was a fluke, I looked at our December 2013 Smashwords bestseller list at PW and bingo, same thing. All 25 books were written by women.

            Then I looked at the bestseller list for November 2013. Same thing again. 100% women.

            Our ebook bestsellers for October 2013? You guessed it, 100% women.

            1. I’m not going to let that dissuade me. While it will require shameless self promotion and more effort than advertising should take (from a very bad salesman too), I want to get my current project off the ground.

              I also noticed something – The guys who assembled that statistic left out Amazon. How do their numbers compare to Amazon’s KDP numbers?

              1. Smashwords doesn’t sell books via Amazon since they never came to a trading agreement. I use Amazon independently of Smashwords – which is my lazy way to reach multiple vendors like B&N, Apple, Scribd, etc

                FYI – in my experience I had my best sales by using Amazon’s KDP Select and doing a free book promotion. Once that promo was over, I had a really nice bump in sales.

                Getting the word out about your newly minted worked is definitely the hardest part of being an independent author. Unless you get some really positive (and professional) reviews, it will take some time to build a base of readers. I had a number of promos – like a summer sale where the majority of my work was free – that gave me a number of reviews. Since then my sales have increased.

                My initial works would sell 1-2 copies a month. Now I get 80-160 sales a month. I’ve noticed a slowdown in the spring and summer months.

                If you are writing a series, I would also suggest – at least at a later point – making the first book free. It drives sales to other books.

                Of course YMMV.

                1. This is how the comic book publishers hook you. The first issue is usually lower in price than the subsequent ones. Electronic versions of them do this as well, offering the first issue for free or like $0.99.

    5. I don’t have to agree with Asimov or Clarke to enjoy their work. Besides, in Clarke’s works, you can see an ever-growing admission of the infeasibility of communism as he aged.

      Only a narcissistic idiot like Krugabe would read Asimov and say, “Yeah. That’s the ticket! I can be that dude! I can plan everything!”

      1. There is a line at the beginning of the second book in the Rama series talking about how human space progress had halted because of a round of “irresponsible tax cuts”. You just have to roll your eyes and keep reading.

      2. “Pshycho-history” was something I had to ignore when reading Foundation books. I chalked it up to being the faith of the one set of characters and didn’t let it get in the way of the story.

  29. “I have a source that told me that if Jeb Bush decides not to run, that Mitt Romney may actually try it again,” Schieffer said during a panel discussion on the CBS Sunday morning news show.

    The guy in the corner, weeping; that’s Jesus.

  30. Woman driving while posting to Facebook dies in car accident

    “The happy song makes me HAPPY”

    At least she died happy.

  31. Okay, I’ve finished buying all the Agalloch, Les Discrets, and Alcest (except for their latest) I could get.

    I’ve recently bought some Falloch and Lantlos. I’ve added Amesoeurs and Old Silver Key to my want list.

    Anything else I should consider for my er, newly found Death Metal love?

    1. Death metal is an infinite abyss and it’s impossible to listen to all the good stuff.

      I like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaJK59yEUWk

      1. Ha, and it turns out that Agalloch is touring with Obsidian Tongue. Not surprising, since I think John Haughm produced their album and does some singing on it.

      1. But beware, as Ulver’s later work (while pretty spectacular too) ain’t death metal

        1. Yes, good point. I really like the later ambient stuff, but it’s definitely not metal.

          Did you know that those dudes were like 16 when they recorded Bergtatt and they’re not even 40 yet? Ridiculous.

          1. Whaaaaaat? No way! That is extraordinary. And they haven’t done an Opeth on us either, or burnt down churches, or killed anyone, so there are a few other reasons to love them

    2. I just got the new Infestus, and it rules. I can’t find the full thing on youtube, but here’s one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mly-1TkBuTk

    3. Crowbar, obviously. You know Crowbar, right? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On7Oe7quKYw

    4. thanks, Warty – will do some listening.

    5. I can’t say I like anything that’s been linked above and I’ll just leave it at that. The best death metal is technical death metal and so here’s an album I’ve been waiting to come out and it ships tomorrow.


  32. Death on the American Riveria: an investigative series on the Congresswoman, the Iraq war vet and the cover-up of a DUI scandal

    Then, after eyeing her body on the street, he took off, tried to hide and was finally arrested when he crashed his vehicle following a high speed chase. After Mallory’s death, Mr. Morua was charged with a hit-and-run and gross vehicular manslaughter. On April 15th he appeared in court and pled guilty to crimes that will keep him in prison for 17 years.

    Two days earlier The Santa Barbara News-Press began publishing my copywritten investigative series. It contains shocking evidence that in the days following the manslaughter crash, Mrs. Capps (D-CA) District Director Mollie Culver forged official VA forms to get Mr. Morua out of jail and into a government-funded LA treatment facility, only to disown him after Mallory was taken off life support.

  33. Bloomberg reporter just interviewed Secy of Ag (I think) about rising food costs. This elicited a barrage of jargon based blather, mostly related to mailing government checks. No mention of ethanol mandates, oddly enough.

    1. Maybe now would be a good time to stop artificially propping up the price of commodities.

      The thing is the government has created an artificial shortage by paying farmers not to grow and subsidizing the use of corn for ethanol. This all benefits the giant ag corporations at the expense of the poor and middle class who are stuck paying higher food bills.

      Gee, you would think that our media who are constantly claiming to fight for the little guy would take some interest in that story.

    2. And hey, its not inflation, so who cares?

  34. Find your fave Luddite who will keep the poor in their place:

    “Goldman Environmental Prize winners to be honored in S.F.”

    Some tough choices, but I’m leaning toward the guy who makes the world pretty for Russian oligarchs:
    “Gazaryan […] protests to stop construction and illegal logging around the caves in Russia’s Krasnodar region, a wilderness area along the Black Sea that is famous both as a uniquely diverse ecosystem and a popular vacation spot for wealthy Russians.”

  35. I guess all they have to say is that they’re still looking for the third Tsarnev brother.

    Note there is plenty of evidence against them but they’ve not been charged.

    1. Bellingham is home to a super-duper Whole Foods and a 16 plex which I patronize for the bargain matinees.

    2. “Had she not had the videotape, she might have ended up being convicted because it would have been her word against the word of two police officers,” said attorney Howard Friedman, who is representing Graham.

      A this point, I think it’s just logical to assume all police reports are complete fabrications.

      1. It’s also logical to assume that “beyond a reasonable doubt” has been replaced by “if a cop says so and there’s not video to refute his word.”

  36. I especially like the mayor’s justification for why this fine police officer is still on the payroll.

    FTA: Miller has been accused of domestic violence in the past. He has been charged with domestic battery on multiple occasions and was charged with first degree murder in 1992. All of the charges were dropped.
    News 4 asked several Metro East officials why Miller was hired even though he had been accused of committing serious crimes.
    “My administration did not hire him, he was here when I arrived,” Alorton Mayor Jo Ann Reed said. “I’m not necessarily certain to how he was hired and pretty much the criteria, but he was here and already working.”

    Sounds like a reasonable excuse for a fucking psychopath to still be on the taxpayer’s dime.

  37. When is theft not theft? When you’re a Durham police officer that’s supposed to be disposing of guns used as evidence.

    FTA: “The Durham Police Department conducted a self-initiated investigation into whether proper procedures were followed in the handling of property in the department’s possession. State personnel privacy laws prevent the department from releasing further details related to this investigation.”

    According to the city personnel office, at least one officer, Capt. Kevin Cates, a 20-year veteran of the Durham police force, was suspended without pay April 7 for “rules violation,” but further details of the suspension, including its duration, are confidential under state law, according to Kirby Smith of the city Human Resources Department. Bonfield said he did not know and Michael said she could not say whether Cates’ suspension was related to the firearms investigation.

    Mayor Bill Bell said Bonfield had told him that officers had been disciplined for not properly disposing of firearms, but had no further comment. District Attorney Leon Stanback said he had not heard of the matter.

    Yes, why would the citizens that pay their salaries or the fucking DA that would be tasked with prosecuting them have a right to know about crimes committed by the brave public servants?

  38. Should 8 year old girls be doing burnouts? This senator says hell yeah

    1. He just got my daughter’s vote

  39. Police officer accused of excessive force has a history of criminal behavior.

    But don’t worry. The investigation into his incident from a year ago is almost done (where it was proven that he falsified his police report). And as soon as it is, the IAD boys can move on to his latest transgression.

    He is “a former officer” according to the story, although it doesn’t not say why he is no linger there.

  40. Congressional Democrats are concerned that Obama will concede to Republicans on some policy areas after the midterms.

    Maybe, if the Ds get their asses kicked hard in the midterms, but I’d be surprised if Obama didn’t veto the fuck out of any legislation that came out of an R-controlled House and Senate. Even in a landslide midterm beatdown, the Rs wouldn’t have enough votes in the Senate for veto overrides.

    And then there’s the possibility that said beatdown won’t happen, and the Ds hang on to the Senate.

    1. given the current ‘pubs white flag waving, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dems keep the Senate.


      1. I have no doubt a good portion of the Republicans in Congress want the ACA to stay because they don’t want the responsibility for fixing it and they would rather be the minority in a really powerful if fucked up government than a majority in a small one.

        They may not have a choice in the matter. The thing is likely to collapse on its own and or cause so much harm the public will demand it be fixed. No question a large minority of Republicans in Congress and nearly every Democrat would given their choice throw up their hands and tell the public “well sure it is a disaster and you are suffering greatly but it is the law and is just too hard to fix so you are just going to have to get used to going without proper medical care”.

        Whether the public takes that answer remains to be seen.

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