A.M. Links: ISIS Declares 'Caliphate' in Iraq, Bill Clinton Pushes Pot Legalization, Facebook Is Manipulating Our Feels


  • stobkcuf/Wikimedia

    Jihadist militant group ISIS has declared that it is establishing a caliphate—a state ruled by strict Islamic law, and a longtime goal of many jihadists—on the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria. 

  • Former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald will be nominated by President Obama to serve as the new Veterans Affairs secretary. "He comes with the credentials they need at this time: management expertise and someone who has made a living making tough decisions," said Bob Wallace, executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 
  • Bill Clinton urged states to step up their "laboratories of democracy" game and start experimenting with marijuana legalization. 
  • Though the FDA's had ample time to meddle with small American craft brewers and cheesemakers lately, the agency is apparently too busy to inspect more than 1-2 percent of food imported from abroad. 
  • As the nation—or at least businesses and the chattering classes—anxiously await today's Hobby Lobby decision from the Supreme Court, a poll shows 53 percent of Americans support Obamacare's birth control mandate without exceptions for religious beliefs, while 35 percent are against it. 
  • Organizers for Initiative 71, a measure that would fully legalize marijuana possession in the District of Columbia, say they've gathered nearly 60,000 signatures, almost three times the amount needed to get the issue on the November ballot.  
  • Facebook frequently tweaks the user experience subtly for the purpose of product development, but the company has now revealed that some changes were part of a psychological experiment on whether different kinds of content could manipulate users' emotions. The move is being widely panned as unethical. 

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  1. Declaring the Caliphate is a brilliant move by ISIS. Without a massive successful worldwide campaign to discredit Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his newly declared “Islamic State”, the U.S. will be in the position of claiming it has the authority to attack not only the head of a state, but the claimed leader of a religion.

    I will be very interested to see how all this plays out throughout the world as Muslims will be put in the position of either rejecting al-Baghdadi, accepting the Caliphate, or mumbling something unintelligible.

    Also interesting is al-Baghdad’s claim to the name of Abu Bakr, who was the first Caliph, and a close confidante and father-in-law of Muhammad.

    The timing of the move by ISIS to establish military dominance just prior to the start of Ramadan and the declaration just after is also interesting.

    They are obviously trying to force a conflict between the moderate Muslim population and the extremists, and they appear to think they can win, especially given the crucifixion of other rebels deemed “too moderate.” That may not bode well for Obama’s plan to arm and support “moderate” rebels in Syria. The people over there have seen that the U.S. will abandon them (from their persepctive) and have no reason to trust Obama. Simple self preservation may lead many to join ISIS or try to avoid the conflict entirely.

    1. Hello.

      Hussein was right. In order to keep Iraq in check, it needed a strong man. Only he was a little over zealous.

      1. Too bad we can’t resurrect the Ottoman Empire.

        1. All we have to do is make Turkey an offer.

    2. all very true observations. I really just have to laugh at the Islamic fundies, however. Even in the Muslim world, thy have a penchant for pissing off the locals. AQ did the same, as did the Qutb-inspired Islamists of the 1970’s. Too much violence, over the top proclamations, and eventually the civilian populace just loses interest.

      It’s a lot like the hardcore Christian right in the US- very popular in the 90’s, but have alienated the average Joe these days and now have become an electoral liability to the GOP.

      1. Yeah, remember how Jerry Falwell proclaimed a theocracy and crucified his opponents?

        1. good times

        2. yeah obviously the two religions are not on the same page, but fundies of all sides have a self-righteous tendency that pisses off us mere plebes.

      2. “It’s a lot like the hardcore Christian right in the US-”

        I musta missed the part where they decapitate people, terrorize locals, blow shit up, rape, and kill little school kids.

        1. I don’t think I equated Islam and Christianity at all, perhaps my point was missed. My problem is the overreach and tendency to piss off the average joe with self righteous pontificating. And I say this as a Christian.

          1. My problem is the overreach and tendency to piss off the average joe with self righteous pontificating.

            Well, there’s obnoxious self-righteousness, and there’s murderous butchery.

            The two really aren’t comparable at all. And if your sensibilities are so delicate that both are equally abhorrent, I can’t help you.

            1. Both sides’ fundies are problematic. Puritans of all stripes will NEVER be satisfied, they will eat their own young out of some compulsive purge urge. If you cannot accept that SoCons in this country are open to criticism as well as radical Islamists, I can’t help you.

              1. I’ve got no brief for SoCons.

                I just think any kind of moral equivalence between US SoCons and Middle East Islamonutters is willful blindness.

                Me, I think priority one is criticizing religious nutters engaged in actual, ongoing campaigns of crucifixion, mass execution, ethnic cleansing, genital mutiliation, etc. Those are criticisms that ISIS is “open” to, but not a single American SoCon. As far as I know.

          2. Some of my best friends are Christians.

    3. There is a downside to doing that. It makes them responsible. Judging by what happened to the Muslim Brotherhood once they got into power, that likely won’t be a good role for them. If they want to form a country, good luck. They will no doubt immediately start oppressing and killing other Muslims and make the place into a barbaric hell hole, all of which will be reported in it full grim detail on Al Jazera.

      If the US is not going to go in full and reoccupy Iraq, and I don’t think we will, our best course of action is to do nothing and wait. Let them discredit themselves and then hit them very hard when they inevitably attack the US or Europe again.

      1. They’ve already started it with the executions and crucifixions. They mean business, and it is a disgusting business. I think maybe the best we can hope for is containment. You may be right that the best containment method we would have.is. to let them broadcast and boast of their own barbarism, in the hops that it will turn more moderate Muslims against them.

        1. Yes they do mean business. And they are not going to stop there. They are going to keep coming. The question is what do the Iraqis themselves and the rest of the Islamic world want to do about it. Eventually they are going to attack us or Europe and we will do something about it and it won’t be nation building this time. The Islamic world needs to decide if it is going to let these assholes make war on civilization in their name.

          1. Iraq was a made up country. There is no such thing as Iraq anymore. That area will likely over time be absorbed by other countries.

            The rest of the Arab world only cares to the extent that it provides a huge opportunity for Iran to be the hegemon in the area. If Iran were smart, it would disavow it’s nuclear program completely and work with Europe and the UN to establish itself as the only power in the region capable of maintaining any kind of stability and relative ‘peace’.

            1. Exactly. Become a functioning, well-reasoned power in the region.

            2. They don’t care about Iraq. But they will care as they see fellow Muslims being butchered and after they realize that this caliphate is just as much of a threat to them as it is to us.

              But in the short term, I mean the Muslims in Iraq. Are they going to let these people destroy their country or are they going to stand up and fight them. We can’t fight for them.

              1. Fellow muslims have been butchering fellow muslims for a long time. Those in power only care to the extent that it has a negative effect on staying in power.

                The muslims in Iraq aren’t going to stand and fight for their ‘country’ because it isn’t a nation in the sense that you and I understand what a nation is.

            3. Time to send in the Sikhs to sort this whole thing out.

            4. After seeing the relative treatment of North Korea and Iraq I can see why Iran would be hesitant to give up nuclear aspirations.

              1. They won’t Bo. And if they get nukes the Saudis and the rest of the middle east will do the same out of fear.

          2. True. This is now, and really always has been, an Islamic problem. It is time to hand it over to them and see how they deal with it. As long as the West keeps barging in with invasions and partition plans, the extremists will have the external threat to point to. Take that away. Make them police their own.

        2. it will turn more moderate Muslims against them

          Has there ever been an uprising of ‘moderate’ muslims against any kind of authoritarian overlord, religious, secular or other?

          1. I’m not overly familiar with Turkish history, but I believe that fits the bill.

            1. That’s basically how the modern Republic came about.

          2. Yes. In 2004 when the tribes around Fallujah decided they had had enough of Al Quada and started helping the US kill them.

            1. That’s a pretty small area.

              1. But a significant one. Also, I would could Egypt throwing out the MB as well. Egypt found out real quick that you don’t want these nuts in power.

                1. Egypt has much more a national identity than Iraq does. That may have something to do with it.

                  1. Restoras, I mean their country however they see it, as in where they live. Not Iraq qua Iraq.

          3. Algerians pretty much kicked Islamists out back in the 70’s because they were too violent.

            1. I thought that was in the ’90s?

              1. could’ve been, maybe both lol. Islamists have a way of alienating their supporters. It becomes a holier-than-thou festival, a true race to the bottom.

          4. Has there ever been an uprising of ‘moderate’ muslims against any kind of authoritarian overlord, religious, secular or other?

            Yes, In Iran in 2009. Obama was too busy playing nice with the mullahs – he didn’t want to offend them because he wanted to negotiate – that he ignored it completely.

            1. I don’t get the criticism of Obama there. Wouldn’t any endorsements by him have been used by the other side to paint them as pawns of the Great Satan? It would be like Obama endorsing someone in a GOP primary.

              1. It’s standard practice for an American President to express sympathy for people protesting a dictatorial state. It’s just what’s done diplomatically.

            2. And, did these moderates end up in power? Have Iran’s regional ambitions been checked?

              1. You asked if moderates in the ME ever engaged in an uprising. You didn’t specify they needed to win.

                1. Fair enough. It’s one thing to ‘rise up’ and another to ‘throw off’. While there certainly have been uprisings there seems be little throwing off and replacement with something moderate. Perhaps the first step is to throw off the existing authoritarian and when it is replaced with another authoritarian that has to be thrown off as well – until the moderates figure out they have to take power and actually establish a moderate state.

            3. Bush ignored the original uprising 2 years before that.

          5. an uprising of ‘moderate’ muslims against any kind of authoritarian overlord, religious, secular or other?

            Some Iranians gave it a go a few years back.

            What with every great power, including the US, lining up behind the ayatollahs, it didn’t end well for them.

        3. ISIS’s seat of power is in Ar-Raqqah Governorate.

          *** rising intonation ***

          I think I smell a target ….

    4. There was some particularly annoying fb derp this weekend about how we’re not supposed to use the term “moderate muslims” because it empowers islamophobes or something.

      1. Refer them to ISIS’s treatment of what they themselves call “moderates.”

        1. I could bang my head against a brick wall and effect the same change as by attempting to engage those people.

    5. I will be very interested to see how all this plays out throughout the world as Muslims will be put in the position of either rejecting al-Baghdadi, accepting the Caliphate, or mumbling something unintelligible.

      With all due respect, who TF is *this* guy to “declare the Caliphate”? If *ISalman Rushdie* “declared the Caliphate” would all the Muslims in the world be on the horns of a dilemma?

      1. I would imagine that is a complicated question of Islamic law. One might as well ask who Ataturk was, to declare the end and dissolution of the Caliphate.

        al-Baghdadi, by calling himself Abu Bakr, is going whole hog on the claim.

    6. Tom Kratman is smiling.

    7. ISIS’s declaration of a caliphate was not brilliant at all. Its arrogance is alienating its allies-tibes and Baathists alike-in Iraq. It needs them at least as much as they need ISIS.

    8. . . . claiming it has the authority to attack not only the head of a state. . .

      The US has long claimed it has the authority to attack a head of state – see the assassination attempts on Castro, the airstrike against the Bab al-Azizia compound, and the airstrikes targeting suspected residences of Saddam Hussein during the First Gulf War.

  2. NJ man sues Benjamin Moore over ‘racially offensive’ paint names

    A New Jersey man named Clinton Tucker is suing former employer Benjamin Moore, claiming discrimination regarding the paint company’s colors “clinton brown” and “tucker chocolate.”

    Tucker, who identifies himself as an African-American man in the lawsuit filed in Essex County court in Newark, said he was hired in June 2011 in the digital marketing department but quickly found himself being discriminated against, according to a write-up of the filing on CourthouseNews.com.

    1. That does sound a bit over the top.

      1. So over the top that it covers the world?

        1. *drops brush and walks away*

      2. Not when you realize that at least one of the two colors (Clinton Brown) to bear one of his names has existed for longer than he has and refers to the color some room in an old building was painted.

        The dude also objects to ‘Confederate Red’.

    2. He sounds like he’s more of a nutty cocoa.

  3. The move is being widely panned as unethical.

    Are they doing this in their facebook status updates? Reading that negativity can’t be good for morale.

    1. I wonder if Facebook KILLED anyone with their emotion manipulation stunt

      That’s some disgusting hyperbole. If reading some downer stories pushes you over the edge then you were going over anyway.

  4. I for one welcome our new robot overlords.

    AP will use robots to write some business stories

    AP will announce Monday that it plans to use automation technology from a company called Automated Insights to produce stories about earnings reports. The software means that “instead of providing 300 stories manually, we can provide up to 4,400 automatically for companies throughout the United States each quarter,” AP Managing Editor Lou Ferrara writes in a Q&A.

    That does not mean job cuts or less coverage, Ferrara writes: “If anything, we are doubling down on the journalism we will do around earnings reports and business coverage.” Instead, he writes, “our journalists will focus on reporting and writing stories about what the numbers mean and what gets said in earnings calls on the day of the release, identifying trends and finding exclusive stories we can publish at the time of the earnings reports.”

    1. They can’t be any more inaccurate than the human writers.

    2. Then the companies will have to put in robots to read the useless prose, and the end result will be no human ever looks at the communications.

    3. Bad news for all the single mom’s working at home copying and pasting company press releases.

      1. Fuck you, autocorrect.

      2. Yep. This may be regarding finance, but most journalism today seems to be press release copy/paste – especially science and politics.

    4. They’ve been using ideological robots for years, so this is only the next logical step.

    5. Maybe the should stop rewriting the press releases that they’re give altogether and just print them as presented.

  5. Bill Clinton urged states to step up their “laboratories of democracy” game and start experimenting with marijuana legalization.

    Hillary is terrible, but Bill could very well end up the best First Lady ever.

    1. The first female First Lady?

    2. I used to get mad when politicians finally came around to ending (at least in part) the drug war once they were out of office. I thought they were craven and opportunistic for not standing up while still in office.

      But now I’m not so sure it was purely for the votes. I believe–in some cases, at least–that it really does take some of them 20 years to figure it out. They’re not evil, they’re ignorant.

      1. They’re not evil, they’re ignorant.

        What do you call someone who feverently believes and defends something for as long as its in his interest to do so but as soon as it makes no difference he ‘sees the light’ on the issue.

  6. Former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald will be nominated by President Obama to serve as the new Veterans Affairs secretary.

    At least they’ll die with newly shampooed hair.

    1. Blather, rinse, repeat…

  7. Wiley Miller’s Non Sequiter makes a joke about trickle down economics.

    From the comments:

    all you need to know is those people don’t feel empathy. they don’t care what happens to the rest of us. they take candy from children and feel no remorse.
    well, 2 things. they are in charge and unless we vote out those who cater to the filthy rich? it’s only going to get worse.

    1. The rich don’t pay their fair share! How could they? They’re still rich!

      1. sarcasm? Or did this poster anticipate your response?

        He should have been providing some good or service. Then he would not have had to endure all that sympathy when they came and took his earnings. All such earnings would have been ill-gotten to begin with. Any currencies earned are ill-gotten. The only legitimate income is from the government that owns you and owes you a living for the wonder of your being born.
        The trickle down theory works in a most excellent way for poverty. Tax the productive and pay the non-productive. The poverty created among the productive will not only trickle down, but will also be amplified so that poverty and dependence steadily grows while the economy steadily declines. But that is historical fact and has no place in modern economic theory, which transcends such things.

        1. It’s slathered on a bit strong for it to be serious. Wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong, though.

        2. The only legitimate income is from the government that owns you and owes you a living for the wonder of your being born.

          Emphasis added… and allow me:

          Fuck off slaver!

          1. The fact that you picked the most obviously satirical sentence from the above quote is a pretty good sign that you need to have your sarcasm detector recalibrated.

            1. So, just report to the nearest Secret Service office, then?

              BTW, how can we find these offices if the service is supposed to be secret?

              Stupid Feds.

    2. We should send a delegate to deliver a highly pedantic distinction between sympathy and empathy, right?

  8. Conflicting parking signs in D.C.? Sorry, you’re still guilty (Videos)


    “As a parking professional, I would agree that the signs in your example are conflicting and inadequate,” says one parking official. “On that basis, my department would administratively dismiss this ticket.”

    A parking professional? Is that what they call meter maids these days? Parking professionals? What a fucking joke.

    1. Parking Pirates.

    2. The parking enforcement people in DC are the worst assholes imaginable. I bought a couple of cases of beer from a liquer store in DC last spring. I pull up and park in the commercial loading zone in front of the business, just as the manager told me to do. I go in to pick up the beer and walk out to this surely asshole writing me a ticket. I tell the guy, but I am using it as a commercial loading zone. The manager came out and ask him why he was writing a ticket. It was their loading zone and I was a customer. Too fucking bad. Commercial means commercial plates only.

      1. Worse than Nicole?

        1. I am Nicole’s loyal minion. She is the best. You leave her alone.

          1. This is why John gets the best cabin at the camp.

      2. There’s a show called Parking Wars. Don’t know if you’ve heard of it. Basically a cameraman follows meter maids around as they do their despicable job. These people are gleeful. They love to inflict misery. It gives them great joy. Best of all, if there is a conflict they can call the cops, and the cops will always back them up because they’re on the same team. Even if they are obviously wrong. And they know it. It’s disgusting.

        1. You would have to be a really miserable asshole to want to write parking tickets all day. I would rather go on welfare or dig ditches or move back with my father or really do anything than do that. They are no doubt the worst sorts of petty tyrant assholes.

          1. They aren’t miserable, John. They love there jobs. They love making other people miserable.

            1. As I was passing through a toll booth getting onto the highway, I made a comment to the toll taker about a state trooper who had a truck pulled over. The toll taker said something like “Yeah. Every time he comes through here he brags about making people miserable and ruining their day. He loves his job.”

          2. They know they are the most hated. Some of them get off on it. Some got into it because it was the easiest gov’t position they could get into. They are the worst form of filth. i hate them.

        2. These people are gleeful. They love to inflict misery. It gives them great joy. Best of all, if there is a conflict they can call the cops, and the cops will always back them up because they’re on the same team.

          A small but poignant example that yes, kapos are always in our midst, and human beings are capable of the never-ending depths of savagery and depravity toward each other.

          1. Some of them surely believe they are standing up against the forces of chaos to bring order to the streets, one ticket at a time.

            1. No doubt. They are the smallest cogs in the machine of tyranny in the name of order.

        3. Yeah, I love how these shows always manage to make citizens look like they’re crazy or unreasonable.

          As John’s experiences shows, they’re just a-holes.

          1. The last one I watched the meter maid came off as a total megalomaniac. Didn’t even pretend to hide it. She was laughing and cackling, talking about how she loves to be hated because it means she’s got the power. Didn’t even pretend to make the citizens look like they were in the wrong. It was a naked power trip. Disgusting.

            1. Naked power trip is the reason most enter law enforcement.

        4. I prefer the exploits of Jimmy Justice


        5. I did a bit of work last week on some reality show about forest rangers. From what I saw, it was all about these self-serious guys handing out tickets to impoverished white trash.

    3. I’d have thought “parking professional” meant a valet parker.

    4. my dad parked on the mall couple of years ago for the fourth police were navigating traffic and told us to park in an non-designated spot my Dad said okay and than parked somewhere else, I asked him why and he said we would get a ticket if we followed what the cop said. Sure enough as we walked past a meter maid was giving everybody tickets who parked where the officer said to park. DC is so fucked up. Of course they made around 150$ per resident in tickets highest in the country last year.

    5. Wonderful. I submitted a rebuttal to a ticket I got for parking directly below two signs on the same pole; one said, “no parking anytime” and the other said “no parking 8am to 5pm”. I parked at 10pm.
      This rebuttal was about 8 mos ago and thus far unanswered. So I guess I get to look forward to finding out there’s a bench warrant out for me at the most inconvenient time.

      1. So I guess I get to look forward to finding out there’s a bench warrant out for me at the most inconvenient time.

        Yep. Next time you get pulled over, be ready to be arrested.

    6. When I was a teenager, I worked in Downtown OKC. I would arrive about 15 minutes before the metered times were over, so I would only have to pay a little. Then I’d be clear the rest of the evening. Well, I parked my car and as I was getting money out of the glove compartment, a meter maid starting writing me a ticket for being parked at an expired meter. I had just pulled up only a few seconds before. He saw me getting out of my car and decided to write me a ticket anyway. What a mother fucker he was.

  9. Neanderthals Ate Their Veggies, Oldest Poop Shows

    Neanderthals in Spain weren’t just meat eaters, suggests the first direct evidence of their omnivorous diet. An analysis of 50,000-year-old feces — likely the oldest known human poop — suggest they ate tubers, berries and nuts as well as meat.

    Researchers from MIT and the University of La Laguna say we’ve probably overemphasized the role of meat in the Neanderthal diet based on traces of plant matter found in samples from a site in El Salt, Spain.

    Bonus: The faces of STEVE SMITH gallery

    1. 50,000-year-old feces — likely the oldest known human poop

      Weird brag? Or weirdest brag?

      1. I’m gonna go out on limb here and assume Neanderthals ate whatever they could get their fucking hands on at any given second.

        1. Somebody had to find out if the berries were poisonous, right?

        2. You gotta be pretty frickin hungry to decide that an artichoke might be something good to eat.

    2. A lot of websites are oddly gleeful and pushing this as some sort of political victory against the forces of paleo-diet right-wing AM radio kulaks.

      Is there anything in the paleo diet that says to eat only meat? Why are leftists so invested in people eating pasta and bread, especially considering the gluten hysteria that grips the granola crowd?

      1. Being Omnivores, if it wasn’t poisonous and didn’t get away, it could have been on the menu.

      2. I think it is because leftists are totalitarian and view every aspect in life as part of politics. Since most things in life don’t lend themselves very well to politics, leftist just randomly assign things a political significance because everything must have one. In this case Leftist have decided that eating meat is an expression of the wrong kind of politics. There is no reason for t hat other than they just decided it.

      3. Because eating meat makes people happy, and there job is to politicize anything that makes people happy therefore sucking the fun out of literally everything.

      4. They are different, and strange, and therefore are wrong. See, if other people were smart, they’d all live just like me, eating fast food and ordering pizzas every night. Obviously, since they don’t do that, they’re inferior and deserve scorn because some fossilized piece of shit had some vegetables in it. When you politicize everything, there are winners and losers in every news story, no matter how seemingly innocuous.

      5. Weird – I read it as a pro paleo-diet. Ancient man wasn’t stuffing his face with whole-grain pasta. And (duh) – if you were hungry, anything edible back then would be eaten.

      6. It’s the “it takes less resources to grow a plant than it does to grow an animal,” line of thinking, which vegetarians and earth-friendly people use to justify their meal choices. Which must be right, then every one must choose them as well.

        1. Except the land distribution means that optimal resource utilisation has a significant percentage of suboptimal land given over to pasture because it’s unsuitable for farming.

        2. Do high cellulose and crops grow in direct competition? I would think not. Growing grains to feed to ruminants is not necessarily a maximum efficiency strategy, though. I’ll agree with that.

        3. Maybe this is an extreme example but compare the cost per calorie between say an avocado orchard and a large grassy field + cows?

      7. Is there anything in the paleo diet that says to eat only meat? Why are leftists so invested in people eating pasta and bread, especially considering the gluten hysteria that grips the granola crowd?

        Because if you don’t eat things that are supposed to have gluten, you can’t signal by buying gluten-free items.

        1. OK, that makes their usual sort of “sense.”

      8. I don’t think the connection is so strong between leftists and hating eating meat (think Bill Clinton), rather the paleo-diet witchhunt is about these people daring to disagree with ‘experts’ on what to eat. Remember when Romney said we can’t just have two guys handing out loans from their garage? For progressives we just can’t have some non-MD giving out diet advice.

        Ideally a commission would do that.

        1. Ideally a commission would do that.

          So, you would establish an Arbiter of Diet and Nutrition? Doesn’t sound very libertarian…

          1. That looked a lot like sarcasm to me.

            1. better composition:

              For progressives, we just can’t have some non-MD giving out diet advice, ideally a commission would do that.

          2. Arbiter of Nutrition and Diet…AND. Better acronym.

      9. They arent really ‘invested’ in it, leftys choose their political positions the same way they choose what kind of jeans to wear, by determining what others will think of them based on their choices.

        Pasta and bread diets are just another fad, just like occupy whatever or hating Palin or members only jackets.

  10. Working their asses off! Turkish farmers charge laptops using solar-powered DONKEYS
    Technology is used by herdsmen in the province of ?zmir, Western Turkey
    It allows them to stay online while on their farming trips across the country
    The solar panels can generate between five to seven kilowatts of energy
    Ser-G?n, a Turkish solar panel producer, is behind the ‘plug and play’ panels which cost 2,800 Turkish Liras (?775 or ?1320)


    1. I thought donkeys were solar powered already.

      1. No more than your car.

      2. For that matter, so are cars. Our cars run on sunlight collected millions of years ago and stored underground.

    2. which cost 2,800 Turkish Liras (?775 or ?1320)

      That’s some serious volatility in the Lira/Pound exchange rate.

      1. When I was in Turkey in 19..98? The TL depreciated by over 5% against the dollar in the two weeks I was there. The “dollar discount” averaged 20%. More on large items.

  11. the agency is apparently too busy to inspect more than 1-2 percent of food imported from abroad.

    They’re in the pockets of Big Buy Local.

  12. ‘We never crossed the border’: Mexican officials deny helicopter flew into Arizona and blame shooting on drug smugglers
    The Mexican chopper was involved in an anti-drug smuggling operation
    Two US agents in the Arizona desert were shot at but not injured
    US authorities are investigating

    It’s almost as if law enforcement officers are compelled to lie about everything. No matter what it is.

    1. 1. But did their bullets cross the border?


      2. Why did they apologize for the intrusion?

  13. Moment campus police wrestle a female college professor to the ground and arrest her for JAYWALKING caught on dash cam

    Failure to obey. She’s lucky to be alive.

  14. ‘I slept with 10,000 men’: Devout Christian reveals how she turned to a career as an escort after being gang-raped as a teenager
    Former elite escort Gwyneth Montenegro has slept with exactly 10,091 men
    At the height of her career, she was charging $500 to $1,000 an hour
    Ms Montenegro spent almost 15 years in the sex industry before retiring three years ago
    During her time as an escort, her life was filled with drug- and alcohol-induced sex
    She worked all over Australia and was flown to exotic destinations
    The 36-year-old is now a ‘business entrepreneur’ based in Melbourne

    John would…

    1. That’s just shy of two men a day, every day for those 15 years.

      1. If she charged 500 dollars for everyone one of those encounters she earned around 5.475 million tax free over her career, not bad.

      2. First time a reference to her included the word “shy.”

        1. She doesn’t look a day over sixty. Right now she’d have to pay me. And give me some Viagra. And turn off the lights.

  15. Lettuce nose-stuffer avoids jail

    A West Midlands sandwich bar worker who was prosecuted after footage of him stuffing lettuce up his nose appeared on YouTube has avoided a jail term.

    Richard Benjamin Shannon, 22, of Castle Street, Brownhills, was ordered to do 300 hours of unpaid work for last year’s offence at Subway in Brownhills.

  16. Bill Clinton urged states to step up their “laboratories of democracy” game and start experimenting with marijuana legalization.

    Man just wants legalized marijuana cigars for obvious reasons.

    1. Dems push “labs of democracy” for weed, but when it concerns gay marriage, land ownership (a la Bundy), or minimum wage laws, they seem to quickly change their tune to one of a child crying out for its parent.

      1. When you have no principles, such a glaring contradiction escapes your notice.

        1. There is no contradiction when your sole guiding principle is expedience.

  17. Former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald will be nominated by President Obama to serve as the new Veterans Affairs secretary.

    Mister McDonald will learn the true meaning of “stonewall”.

    1. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to be him. He’s not going to be able to clean house the way he could in a corporation. Even if he’s heard about the privilege and intransigence of government workers, experiencing that is something different.

  18. Terrifying video shows man hanging onto car traveling 50mph on a busy interstate before he ‘broke back-windshield and climbed in’
    Brenda Cruz was driving down Interstate 77 in North Carolina on Saturday when she witnessed a man riding on the back of a sedan in front of her
    She recorded footage on her cellphone of the man maneuvering his body on the trunk of the car traveling at 50 mph
    Cruz and her son Samuel say they saw the man then break the back windshield and climb inside
    The vehicle was being driven by a woman who had a child in a car seat
    Authorities are investigating and believe the driver and the person on the back of the car know each other


  19. Pre-launch Launch of Shadowboy.

    I don’t yet have the cover art from my cover artist, but I do have the content completed, so I’ve put up the eBook edition for sale. I can update the cover later and early purchasers will get it updated. The price point was chosen simply because I paid my editor (and will be paying the cover artist if he ever delivers). I need to recoup that investment.

    I do plan on running promotional offers, but Amazon requires the price be unchanged for thirty days to avoid fraud where you set the ‘discount’ to your normal price to look as if you have a drastic markdown. The hardcopy edition will be released when I have gotten the cover from the artist (he says he’s “Almost done”).

    I have details regarding the reason commentariat reviewer offer. Those are found on This ‘hidden’ page.

    But there’s no hardcopy edition yet, what happens if the cover artist bails? Then the hardcopy edition gets the black and gray cover I’m using as a placeholder. Though from the last progress piece I got, the odds are the artist will complete the cover (when is up for debate)

    US Amazon direct link (Since it won’t reduce my royalty payment, I don’t have a problem if that goes through the reason magazine Amazon affiliate storefront. It’s an incentive for them to not delete my posts.)

    Oh, and there’s a TV Tropes page for the book.

    1. …that’s your name?

        1. It’s very close to a familiar name.

    2. Just bought the Kindle version. It better not suck. 😉

      1. Thanks.

        So far no one has said it does. I hope you enjoy it.

        1. Good luck. You need to get some customer reviews going

          1. That’s what the Reason Special offer was supposed to incentivize. I’m also going around trying to find people who’ll give it an honest write-up. I sincerely believe that the target audience can tell when the reviews have been faked, so I’m not going down that route. (Too much potential to harm instead of help. I’d rather succeed or fail on the merits)

            1. Ah, thanks for the link — didn’t click earlier — I’ll see about buying and reading it and giving you an honest review.

  20. Welcome to the cartoon court: Traveller who claims TSA destroyed his $500,000 statue draws out stick figures to illustrate his claim


  21. Woman accidentally shot in the leg by vendor demonstrating weapon at gun show that supposedly featured ‘no loaded weapons’
    The shooting took place on Saturday at the Eagle Arms Gun Show at Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, Pennsylvania
    Vendor Geoffrey Hawk is waiting to find out if he will face criminal charges
    Victim Krista Gearhart, 25, was treated and released for a thigh wound at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville


    1. The vendor should use the same excuses the cops do.

    2. Sounds like some sick fuck slipped a round into the gun, hoping an incident like this would happen.

      1. Which is why you always pull the slide. Every fucking time.

        1. And don’t point it at people.

          1. 4 rules. You have to break at least 2 to hurt somebody.

            1. I once cleared a rifle by cycling the bolt and pointing it at the ground and pulling the trigger. Damn near blew my foot off. If I hadn’t been observing the “don’t point it at something you don’t want to destroy” rule, I might have. It was at the end of a long day, near sunset, the chamber was dark with dirt, and someone had left a round of Wolf ammo, dark grey, in the chamber. When I cleared it, the.extractor was so gummed up with powder residue that it left the round in the chamber and I couldn’t see it due to all the dirt and low light.

      2. It’s the kind of thing a rabid antigunner would do.

      3. Which is why, when handling a firearm, there is no such thing as an unloaded gun.

    3. Apparently it was her gun, she handed it to him with no clip, there was a round in the chamber. Terrible fail all the way around.

      1. Ugh. You hand someone a gun, clear it first. Someone hands you a gun, clear it immediately. If they say it’s clear clear it. If they take offense, clear it and hand it back and walk away.

        1. I was shooting this weekend with a friend. The bolts were always open until ready to fire.

      2. Actually, that story has way more details than I have seen, in fact contradicts a couple of others. Seems like someone did chamber a round in that gun, for some unknown reason.

        1. did they think it was a dummy round, I wonder.

  22. RACCISISISTIT!!! *head explodes*

    You can now buy a KFC gold-plated chicken bone necklace

    Carroll and her boyfriend ate 25 wings from a KFC in Kentucky, then cleaned the bones with soap and water. She let them dry, then painted the bones with a varnish, graphite conductive paint and coated them in copper. The bones were then plated in 14-karat gold.

    “Like Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper we’ve figured out a way to make it possible to savor a single piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken forever,” writes Kentucky for Kentucky on its website. “For-ever and ever. We all win.”

    1. “For-ever and ever. We all win lose.”

      Fixed that.

    2. Does a gold plated bone have power in voodoo?

    3. They sold out within a hour. The Kentucky for Kentucky guys are really nice guys. We managed to get one of the printed maps they make. We had it framed and we hung it in the dining room just this Friday.

  23. Pakistani couple killed over love marriage

    A 17-year-old girl and her husband were killed by her family for marrying without its consent, and another young woman was burned alive by a man for refusing his proposal in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, police said Sunday.

    Muafia Bibi and her husband Sajjad Ahmed, 30, were killed in Satrah village Friday night, allegedly by her parents, two uncles and her grandfather, said Asghar Ali, the area police chief.

    He said the couple was hacked to death with a butcher’s knife, and that all five suspects have been apprehended.

  24. Bill Clinton urged states to step up their “laboratories of democracy” game and start experimenting with marijuana legalization.

    Laboratories of democracy?


  25. I have a feeling this is a Cleveland Browns moment…

    Homeowner assesses damage after 14-inch artillery shell enters house

    A homeowner in Wyandotte, Oklahoma is awaiting damage assessments after an artillery shell entered his home.

    It was fired at the Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show on Saturday, around 3 miles a way.

    Homeowner Gene Kelley could not fathom what he found after hearing a large crash inside his home.

    “It’s unbelievable,” Kelley said. “Unless you were here to see it or see the pictures I’ve got, you would not believe how huge this thing is.”

    1. Homeowner Gene Kelley could not fathom what he found after hearing a large crash inside his home.

      He should have danced with it.

    2. Not to pick nits, but it was a 14-inch long artillery shell…not a 14-inch shell.

      1. ” but it was a 14-inch long artillery shell…not a 14-inch shell.”

        So you’re wrong and it WAS a 14 inch shell and you’re upset that they don’t use the same method of labeling you do?

        1. The standard nomenclature is to categorize by diameter, not length.

          I read it as a 14-inch shell – which is naval artillery. I was curious how a naval artillery shell could be accidentally discharged in OK when there is no longer any naval artillery of that size in use any more. Was it accidentally dropped from a plane?

          Upon further investigation I found it was a 155mm artillery shell, not a 14-inch shell.

          And I wasn’t upset per se, but I do find it annoying that the media elected to use incorrect definitions to sensationalize and already adequately sensational story.

        2. Derp…a 14-inch shell would have destroyed the house and surrounding buildings. Although, I don’t think that the organizers could get a battleship that far inland.

  26. Pope says communists are closet Christians

    The 77-year-old pontiff gave an interview to Il Messaggero, Rome’s local newspaper, to mark the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, a Roman holiday.

    He was asked about a blog post in the Economist magazine that said he sounded like a Leninist when he criticized capitalism and called for radical economic reform.

    “I can only say that the communists have stolen our flag. The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the center of the Gospel,” he said, citing Biblical passages about the need to help the poor, the sick and the needy.

    but how many Christians are closet communists?

    1. “Do you have a flag?”

    2. Lots of the mainline Protestant denominations?

    3. “Poverty is at the center of the Gospel,” says Pope, right before diving into Vatican coffers like Scrooge McDuck.

      Pro-Communist and anti-weed. This new Pope just gets better all the time.

      1. I’ve pointed this out before, but going red is a pretty ingenious way for the Pope to distract a bunch of unfriendly leftist media outlets from all of those sex scandals.

        The Church Universal hasn’t thrived for two millennia by NOT being clever.

      2. And when did any communist become pro-poor — other than so they can manipulate the masses to fight for the leaders.

        1. Communists made a bunch more people poor. Hence, they’re pro-poor.

  27. “poll shows 53 percent of Americans support Obamacare’s birth control mandate without exceptions for religious beliefs, while 35 percent are against it.”

    Do 53% of Americans think at all?

    1. How can you not want Hobby Lobby to win knowing all the major derp that would produce.

    2. I’m guessing there’s an 8% margin of error in that study.

  28. Dead Facebook users will soon outnumber the living

    Believe it or not, 30 million Facebook users died in the first eight years of its existence. In fact, 428 of them die every hour, so they’re practically dropping like flies. And every day, these dormant accounts receive friend requests, get tagged in photos, and sometimes, they’re even wished a happy birthday.

    So when is Facebook going to turn into a digital graveyard? Apparently, the year 2065, assuming the site’s popularity takes a hit by then.

    1. Facebook is already a digital graveyard. The users just don’t realize they’re dead inside.

    2. Meh. Me and some friends maintain the fb page of a dead friend. The page makes clear that she’s dead. All the posts are from living friends remembering her birthday, or posting photos from when she was alive. This is one of the good uses for fb.

  29. Bill Clinton urged states to step up their “laboratories of democracy” game and start experimenting with marijuana legalization.

    Gonna inhale *this* time, Willie?

  30. Adultery dating site, Ashley Madison uses picture of Hillary on billboard.


    1. Awesome. I’d rather fuck a fistful of thumbtacks.

      1. You are not kidding. I really can’t blame Bill for running around. No straight man could stay faithful to Hillary while being a politician and having the likes of Elizabeth Ward Gracen throw themselves at him. I blame him for taking advantage of Monica Lewinski. But I don’t blame him for cheating.

  31. Organizers for Initiative 71, a measure that would fully legalize marijuana possession in the District of Columbia, say they’ve gathered nearly 60,000 signatures, almost three times the amount needed to get the issue on the November ballot.

    Don’t worry. House Republicans will show just how devoted they are to smaller government, local autonomy, and the will of the people.

  32. Army’s Apache under assault: PC police call helicopter’s name racist

    the helicopter names were “propaganda” that needed to end, because Native American life expectancy statistics indicate the “violence is ongoing, even if the guns are silent.”

    What do these clowns have to say about the Peacekeeper?

    1. At this point, they’re right – if Native Americans are going to be such pussies about this, then it doesn’t really strike fear in anyone to call your helicopters Apaches.

      Way to marginalize yourselves even further!

      1. Yep, anymore it’s more intimidating to name something a Drunk College Feminist than an Apache.

        1. Drunk College Feminist

          Nah. Nothing melts away the oppression of Patriarchy like a half-dozen shots of tequila.

    2. Those names were given out of respect for what the Army considered to be a worthy and noble enemy. I guess anything short of writing all Indians out of history and popular culture is now racist.

    3. Also, by that standard I guess naming various Army posts after Confederate Generals (Bragg, Polk, Hood) is being discriminatory against the south.

      Yeah, that makes sense.

      1. Are any of our bases in Germany named after Rommel?

        1. No. But that is because we consider the Nazis an evil enemy. They were certainly a worthy one, but they were evil and therefore it would be profoundly disrespectful to their victims to name things after them.

          In contrast we don’t consider the South nor the Indians to be evil. So, we name things after them out of respect for their military prowess. Indeed, you could object to our naming military bases after Confederate generals on the basis that we shouldn’t be according that kind of respect to people who fought for slave holding.

          The whole point is naming something after a group shows respect. It is completely nuts to claim that naming helicopters after Indian tribes is “racist”. There is nothing racist about it.

        2. Bo, I have personal knowledge that one of the US armor battalions fighting the Republican Guard in Gulf War I had pictures of Rommel in their tanks.

          The affection and respect military men accord their enemies is real, and has been documented throughout human history over a wide range of cultures.

          1. Tarran,

            Look at the amount of respect accorded Hannibal by Roman historians or Saladin by medieval European ones. Yes, showing respect to a worthy foe has always been part of military culture.

            1. I wonder if Scipio Africanus was the model for Ender Wiggin.

    4. The name “apache” mean enemy in the Zuni tribal language. They were a bunch of worthless bandits who were kicked out of the Navajo tribe. They can have their name back.

    5. Apache, Blackhawk, Commanche, Cheyenne (not built beyond testing), Kiowa, etc. U.S. combat helicopters have a long history of being named in honor of American Indian tribes.

      1. Don’t forget the Iroquois, better known as the Huey.

      2. I believe its because of the cavalry tradition that helos hearken back to.

    6. I believe I remember when Reagan named the Peacekeeper and the anti-nuke leftists (but I repeat myself) got all pissy about it.

    7. All but one Army Helicopters are named after Native American tribes.

      Black Hawk
      (there are others)

    8. All Army helos have Indian names…BlackHawk, Kiowa, Lakota, etc. No real Apache brave would consider the name sake of the Apache helo as an insult.

  33. Justina Pelletier is finally free!

    Justina Pelletier, the Connecticut teenager ‘kidnapped’ by hospital staff 16 months ago, has described her traumatic ordeal in her first interview since her release.

    The 16-year-old was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital in February 2013 with the flu but was locked away in a psychiatric unit until this month after two hospitals clashed over her diagnosis.

    ‘This should never happen again to anybody. To any kid or any person. They should never be put through what I’ve been put through,’ Justina told Fox News’ Mike Huckabee on Saturday.

    ‘And they were so mean and nasty to me and they were being mean and terrible to my family also. And no-one should be put through that.’

    Fuck Massachusetts and fuck the staff of Boston Children’s Hospital.

    1. It is easy to get jaded about this kind of stuff if you read Reason. there is so much of it. But the Pelletier case is worse than usual. I think it is about the most outrageous thing I have heard about in a long time. It should have been a national scandal. And it was basically ignored by the national media.

      1. It was covered by Fox News, but of course they don’t really count, because FAUX NEWS!!11!!!

    2. Single-payer will give us more of this shit.

    3. I hope her parents end up owning that hospital.

  34. Repost: Sylvester the Cat has just stopped caring.


    1. Wrong link, here’s the correct one –


      1. reminds me of this annoying pigeon.

        1. “I’m not pecking you! I’m not pecking you!”

        2. I believe that is a dove.

          1. I think it’s a parakeet of some sort.

  35. The first American to learn about Joseph Stalin’s death was…Air Force Staff Sergeant Johnny Cash.


    1. I have heard that before. Despite myths otherwise, he was actually a decent airman and did pretty well in the Air Force. Once he had a rebel image they made it sound like he was some misfit, but he wasn’t.

      1. He did do a lot of drinkin’ and druggin’.

        1. In the Air Force, is that only okay for officers?

  36. Kevin Williamson: Politics Pays
    No society can long thrive by making its innovators subservient to its bureaucrats.

    It is baffling that my progressive friends lament the influence of so-called big money on government while at the same time proposing to expand the very scope and scale of that government that makes influencing it such a good investment. Where government means constables, soldiers, judges, and precious little else, it is not much worth capturing. Where government means somebody whose permission must be sought before you can even begin to earn a living, when it determines the prices of products, the terms of competition, and the interest rates on your competitors’ financing, then it is worth capturing. That much is obvious. Progressives refuse to see the inherent corruption in the new ruling class ? and, make no mistake, we now have a ruling class ? because it is largely made up of them, their colleagues, and people who are socially and culturally like them and their colleagues. Getting a couple hundred grand a year to teach one class doesn’t look so crazy if you think you might be the guy who gets the check next time around.

    1. No it can’t thrive. But a thriving society is the last thing a lot of people want. A thriving society is unfair and racist and has all of this uncontrollable and unmanaged change.

    2. t is baffling that my progressive friends lament the influence of so-called big money on government while at the same time proposing to expand the very scope and scale of that government that makes influencing it such a good investment.

      Principals, not princples, Kevin.

      1. The progressive is a strange creature. They think that the government is corrupted by corporate influence, but they think it should grow bigger. They think of charity as magical and mystical, but reserve it only for the state. They think everybody should be equal, but support making everybody unequal to make them more equal. They think that people have a right to their own body, unless that means doing something “unhealthy.”

        It’s beyond unprincipled. It’s a conditioning from their handlers, a side-effect of their moral relativism. See, when your only two true principles are “all for self” and “I’m always right,” principles are just guidelines to keep others in check as you work to manipulate them. It’s a cascade manipulation. The puppetmasters manipulate their useful idiot puppets. The puppets manipulate anyone gullible enough to listen to them, and they all get off on the power trip, as they satisfy their two principles, acquiring power and faux moral superiority through grievance mongering, manipulating the weak, and growing the power of the people above them.

        (I dunno where that rant came from, but it’s long enough that I dare not delete it)

    3. I heard that on the radio this morning. It’s good, but it’s also basically taken from Rand:

      …when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing?when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors?when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you?when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice?you may know that your society is doomed.

  37. Last night I watched the original First Blood (1982) movie – the one that launched the whole Rambo series.


    Some pretty good stunts with no CGI. The cliff jumping into the tree looked impressive.

    The cops were portrayed as goons – something you rarely see these days of “OMG HEROES!”

    And how the heck did this small town police force get a load of M-16 rifles?!

    1. Stallone can turn in a good performance, under the right circumstances. I really liked his version of Get Carter, for example.

      1. Wasn’t he arrested on vagrancy charges?

        I don’t get criminalizing that, isn’t it just not having any money?

    2. Stalone wasn’t a bad actor. The first Rocky movie and the first Rambo movie are both good movies. Stalone made a lot of money but ultimately ruined his career and reputation making so many bad squeals.

      1. “Sequel like a pig, boy!”

        1. Paddle faster; I hear banjos.

    3. And how the heck did this small town police force get a load of M-16 rifles?!

      The same place they got the MRAP yesterday.

    4. Saw The Road Warrior the other day. Lord Humungus died.

      1. It’s a fictionalized account.

    5. The book is awesome as well.

      Also First Blood 4 is the best sequel.

    1. Maybe it will put some backbone back in the gene pool.

    2. He’s also concerned that couples may turn to riskier practices like “DIY insemination with a friend’s sperm”

      He’s just in the pocket of Big Sperm.

      1. In UK, Big Sperm is in pocket of you.

      2. There’s nothing risky about it if they simply have actual vaginal sex.

        1. Heterosexual intercourse in order to make a baby? Fluid transfer? Gross!

    3. At least those babies will grow up and have American accents.


  39. “Bill Clinton urged states to step up their “laboratories of democracy” game and start experimenting with marijuana legalization.”

    You know, it’s a real shame that this guy never served as President of the USA. That would have been cool.

    1. This.

      At least Kurt Schmoke had some integrity while in office.

  40. What we’re seeing here is a real-time lesson in how fake scandals are created and amplified. Lerner’s name is already controversial owing to her role in the IRS’s targeting of political nonprofit groups. That scandal stalled when it became clear that Lerner’s division wasn’t just scrutinizing Tea Party groups, as had been the original allegation, but Republicans aren’t willing to move on. A bombshell accusation that she personally targeted a Republican senator would certainly reinvigorate the notion that the IRS had become politicized under Obama, so Republicans in the House put some wild spin on this fairly innocuous email chain and let the press take care of the rest.

    Here’s Chuck Grassley quoted in the Associated Press talking about the terrible ramifications of the harrowing email exchange that went nowhere:

    “This kind of thing fuels the deep concerns many people have about political targeting by the IRS and by officials at the highest levels,” Grassley said. “It’s very troubling that a simple clerical mix-up could get a taxpayer immediately referred for an IRS exam without any due diligence from agency officials.”


    1. I blame Bush.

      1. The band? Or pubic hair? I’m never sure about this…

        1. Yes.

    2. “That scandal stalled when it became clear that Lerner’s division wasn’t just scrutinizing Tea Party groups, as had been the original allegation, but Republicans aren’t willing to move on. ”

      This claim didn’t seem to be linked or sourced…

      1. I blame Bush.

        1. I blame Bush.

        2. From your link:

          “Yes, some progressive groups did have their tax-exempt status applications flagged as the IRS reviewed whether nonprofit groups were engaging in political activities.

          But it wasn’t to the same degree as tea party and other conservative groups, nor did it result in the same actions. The list targeting tea party groups resulted in delayed processing that in some cases lasted almost three years and inquiries into their donors. Further, the inspector general found tea party groups were systematically singled out as part of an office-wide effort, while progressive groups were not.”

          1. I blame Bush.

          2. And again, if “it didn’t happen” why did Lerner start this whole thing by saying it did? This wasn’t a charge the Republicans made up. It came from Lerner herself.

            1. I blame Bush.

          3. Don’t try to reason with it. It is just a partisan hack sock puppet.

      2. Furthermore, the only groups to have their petitions denied were progressive groups.


        But, the fake scandal still lives among the wingnuts – Team Red loyalists.

        1. I blame Bush.

    3. Lerner herself said they were. That is what started this thing. She had a question planted at a press conference that allowed her to apologize for doing so and blame it all on the Cincinnati office.

      So, was Lerner lying there? Is she a secret Republican? There is no doubt they targeted conservative groups. They admitted that upfront. No amount of lying is going to change that.

      1. I blame Bush.

    4. Why is she taking the fifth and begging for immunity?

      1. I blame Bush.

      2. Maybe she is among the 90% of us that hates Congress.

        1. I blame Bush.

          1. I bet Bush deleted all those emails personally.

            1. Clinton was impeached over a blowjob, and the Teathuglicans are after Obama because Bush caused a hard drive to fail.

              1. So many fake scandals. [shakes head]

              2. Damn, that Bush is one amazing guy! Maybe we should get him to run for president or something!

                1. He’s on his fourth term according to the logic of some out there.

          2. Holy shit…If Lerner was willing to do all that law-breaking, obfuscating, and general bullshittery, all because she hates Congress, imagine what she’ll do when she sees what kind of an absolute loser turd of a Prez that the Chocolate Nixon turned out to be!

    5. What we’re seeing here
      is a real-time lesson in a hopeless posting career.

  41. In a move that will surprise nobody here, the White House is poised to appoint a militant IP supporter to head the USPTO.

    In December, Johnson testified before the Senate on behalf of the 21st Century Patent Coalition, a group of companies who opposed a bill that would have made it easier for defendants to challenge low-quality patents, and to recover legal costs in the face of frivolous patent lawsuits. (Johnson’s group ultimately prevailed last month when Senate Democrats killed the bill altogether.) Johnson has also opposed previous patent reform initiatives, describing them as “almost everything an infringer could ever want.”

    1. Hollywood paid good money to Obama.

    2. Johnson has also opposed previous patent reform initiatives, describing them as “almost everything an infringer could ever want.”

      Beg the question much?

      1. I guess Mickey will be TM’ed by Disney for another few centuries.

  42. Am I the only one who finds the outrage of this story about “dark pool” trading funny? Industry insiders set up a back channel to stock exchanges so that they could avoid other movers driving up/down the price of their large block transfers, and are now super-pissed that Barclays was misleading them about the nature of the pool. I hope the judge dismisses with prejudice.

    A scathing lawsuit filed on Wednesday by the New York State attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, claims that Barclays repeatedly lied to brokers about the extent of aggressive and predatory high-speed trading in the pool ? activity that exposed investors to precisely the type of price distortions they were trying to avoid and that, not incidentally, enriched Barclays by increasing the number of transactions executed in the pool.

  43. It’s SCOTUS time! Lets see how Roberts manages to screw up today’s two final decisions.

  44. Breaking from SCOTUSblog: both Harris and Hobby Lobby written by Alito!

    1. In Harris, Abood is not overruled but it is not extended to these workers (they can’t be made to contribute to the union).

      1. “The Court recognizes a category of “partial public employees” that cannot be required to contribute union bargaining fees.”

        1. I haven’t followed Harris. What the hell is a “partial public employee”?

          1. Maybe it’s covered under ADA?

          2. I think its home health care and child care workers — people the unions have tried to unionize in IL among other states

        2. So does it create separate classes of employees, some of.whom must pay and others who.needn’t?

          1. It was PAs doing work for clients on government contracts. So not real public employees.

      2. Yeah, SCOTUS was desperate not to take the kill shot on pubsec unions, so they had to fake up a new category to avoid an obvious and patent injustice.

    2. Drudge is saying Employees can’t be required to contribute to a union. They were saying that would be a “kill shot” on public employee unions the other day.

      I am not sure about that, but it can’t be good for them.

      1. I think this is the right decision. If the union is delivering value, people will continue to buy their services.

        1. That is just it. They don’t deliver much value for the average employee. What they mostly do is steal the money and use it to fund the larger Left.

          1. There is some value at times, but unions should be assembled at those times from a grassroots movement. The whole entrenched group thing leads to this corruption.

            1. Concentrations of power always lead to corruption

      2. Court went out of its way to say this isn’t a killshot. Merely a limitation.

        1. Maybe. There are several places on page one where Alito says the Abood court “fundamentally” misunderstood or failed to appropriately limit.

    3. Alito was put on the bench to defend the Republican Establishment Elite – this is no surprise.

      1. I blame Bush.

    4. I’m listening to npr today to hear the butthurt.

  45. This about sums up Obama’s work, the US goes from relative stability to a caliphate in 6 years. Bloody brilliant, the march of the blind sanguine continues.

    1. The Christo-Fascists in the US would object to your depiction of this country.

      President Huckabee will right the USA back up.

      1. CHRISTFAGS!!11!!!BUSHPIGS!!11!!!

  46. Latest in the ‘Taxes don’t matter; companies won’t move…..ooops!’ Competition:

    “Walgreens may be next big firm to ‘move’ overseas”
    “They are, in effect, renouncing their U.S. citizenship to cut their tax bill,”

    Don’t we wish WE could do that?

    1. If they have a big foreign business, it makes sense. Otherwise you get slammed on any foreign profit you try to bring back to shareholders.

      The asshole politicians in the article have been told for years that having the highest corporate tax rate in the world is a bad idea, they continue to bravely resist logic.

      1. “The asshole politicians in the article have been told for years that having the highest corporate tax rate in the world is a bad idea, they continue to bravely resist logic.”

        They also miss the logic of incentives; where do the really smart tax lawyers go?
        To the government? Ha and ha! They go where they can make money finding the work-arounds.
        And with the tax code as convoluted as it is, there are no lack of them.

    2. “Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, while all about loophole closing, puts much of the blame for such tax avoidance, as do many others, on the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent, one of the highest in the world. He would like to see it lowered to 24 percent.”

      Once again, Wyden the only Dem with a brain.

    1. I like this trend.

      1. Depends on the bride.

        1. You mean the one about halfway down that is so fat she looks Chinese?

    2. It could make weddings more popular.

    3. That has been floating around Facebook. Every single woman I know is appalled by it. I find it hard to believe it is a “trend”. Sounds more like a stunt a few people pulled that the writer used for a story.

      It just doesn’t make sense. Women are generally insecure as hell about the size of their asses. Even thin ones think their asses look big. I find it hard to believe there are many women confident enough to show their bare asses to all of their friends and relatives.

    4. I’m glad they didn’t do that at the last wedding I went to. They made the ones in the last picture look svelte.

      1. Yes. In the weddings I have been to for every bridesmaid I would want to see like that there was at least one or two others that I would pay to avoid seeing like that.

        No thanks.

        1. I thought you… never mind.

      2. I think that last pic is of a Roller Derby team.

        1. Did the two brides give it away?

          1. That’s just one bride, she’s just big enough to be two.

            And when you need a Mercator Projection to figure out what a tattoo is supposed to be of, maybe you need to stop inking yourself.

            1. Yeah, I went and looked. Its a good guess.

    5. GIS for the third image, the one with the black bars, shows that it comes from a lesbian porn shoot. Good work, Elite Daily.

      1. “Lesbian” porn shoot.

        1. The garter does a great job covering up track marks, though.

        2. I’m okay with gay for pay.

      2. I’ll have to uh, *clears throat* investigate this later.

  47. Lefty columnist trolls for clicks:

    “HP’s role in Israel could lead to political pressure”
    Writer hints people will get pissed at HP for dealing with Israel and short its stock. As an example, he mentions the Presbyterian Church.

    Fortunately, this twit is not paid for the accuracy of his predictions.

  48. Deregulation

    As America triumphed in the Cold War, there didn’t seem to be a viable competitor to our economic model. Without this international competition, we no longer had to show that our system could deliver for most of our citizens.

    Ideology and interests combined nefariously. Some drew the wrong lesson from the collapse of the Soviet system. The pendulum swung from much too much government there to much too little here. Corporate interests argued for getting rid of regulations, even when those regulations had done so much to protect and improve our environment, our safety, our health and the economy itself.

    Government policies have created or exacerbated inequality. If only we could come up with some newer, better government policies, we could fix everything.

    Maybe we need an Equality Czar.

    1. We have “much too little” government? That’s unhinged even for the NYT.

    2. And a small government Czar – that would be a compromise to make the Repubs happy.

  49. Hobby Lobby: Closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage.

    1. Interesting. Now what does “closely held” mean? Is this case limited to its facts?

      That said, it would certainly mean proprietorships. But where is the line? What a confusing decision. They should have just killed it.

      1. Limited to the facts. Closely held has a definite meaning. See http://www.irs.gov/Help-&-Reso…..Entities-5

        1. That would cover a lot of people. SCOTUS BLOG is saying Obama will just write a regulation making the government pay for it in cases of such corporations, because he is king and all and Congress no longer holds the power of the purse I guess.

          1. Yup. Just increase taxes and make everyone else pay for it. Yay.

            1. You’d prefer we just ban contraception, right? (latest talking point of lefties when talking about this).

              1. It’s all part of the master plan of social conservatives to put women back.in the.kitchen by

                1. Legalizing rape
                2. Banning abortion and contraception
                3. Revoking women’s driver’s licenses
                4. Kicking girls out of school

                1. But they draw the line at clitorectomy.

                  For now.

              2. I think, for rhetorical purposes, our response should be, no I think we should make it all available over the counter, so that it’s cheap and easy to buy with your employers knowledge or consent.

                1. I’m assuming “with…consent” should be “without…consent.”

        2. Here is the other thing about that. If corporations that are not closely held can’t hold religious views and are therefore creatures there to make only profit for their shareholders, then how exactly can they hold “social justice” views.

          If the right were smart, they would use this case to launch shareholder suits against every big corporation that is giving away money to the left and on green projects in the name of “social justice” or “helping the environment” or anything else not directly related to making money.

          Holding religious views is a specifically protected right under the Constitution. If public corporations can’t hold those, they certainly can’t hold other views either. This case seems to say that unless it contributes to making money, corporations can’t do it. Okay, lets go with that.

          1. Yeah. I’d think Starbucks should be worried.

          2. The counter argument is that “green initiatives” or building a recreation center in a poor neighborhood, although not directly related to making money, is used as a marketing tool to increase goodwill among the community. Goodwill and name recognition are directly related to making money.

            1. You could make that argument and indeed in some cases it would be valid. I think Starbucks probably does make money by selling “fair trade coffee”. But that would have to be examined on a case by case basis.

          3. It used to be that corporations were not permitted to make any kind of charitable contribution or non-business expenditure. At least, not without shareholder approval.

    2. Here is a further attempt at qualification: This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to mean that all insurance mandates, that is for blood transfusions or vaccinations, necessarily fail if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs.


      1. One does not need to be a Christian in order to resent having to cover the cost of other people’s care-free fucking.

        1. One does have to have principles beyond “whatever Obama does is okay” though.

          1. Yeah, there is no plausible defense of this other than The One’s blessing.

            1. It started with G. Stephanopoulis’ planted question at the Republican debate and ended up in Obamacare and now at the SC.


        “Honey, the dog yakked on the carpet again!”

      3. CHRISTFAGS!!11!!!BUSHPIGS!!11!!!!

  50. Also, WTF?

    Where justice is concerned, there is also a yawning divide. In the eyes of the rest of the world and a significant part of its own population, mass incarceration has come to define America ? a country, it bears repeating, with about 5 percent of the world’s population but around a fourth of the world’s prisoners.

    Justice has become a commodity, affordable to only a few. While Wall Street executives used their high-retainer lawyers to ensure that their ranks were not held accountable for the misdeeds that the crisis in 2008 so graphically revealed, the banks abused our legal system to foreclose on mortgages and evict people, some of whom did not even owe money.

    Can you say “non sequitur” children?

    I had no idea there were so many poor people in prison for illegally foreclosures.

    1. Hmm, so this writer just discovered that some of the vices of the poor are illegal? Or did they just discover that being able to afford good representation can get you out of a bind? Or that being in with the gov’t will keep you out of prison?

  51. As much as it would delight me to see Chuck Grassley breaking rocks in Leavenworth, FUCK THE IRS.

  52. And I always thought they used Champagne:


    Says beer for Subs — Brits and their traditions.

  53. Anybody see this :


    I like it.

    6.041 for the win.

    1. I saw this, and was disappointed that Massey only estimates the the probability of hard drive failure in the 10-day window was 0.001 (i.e., one in a thousand.)

      Sure, that is a correct estimate of a hard drive failure. But Lerner did not just have a hard drive failure: she had a hard drive from which absolutely no data recovery was possible. I don’t have any stats on that, but the probability of Lerner’s hard drive failing such a catastrophic manner in the ten-day window are closer to 0.00001 than 0.001.

  54. I only had to sign in twice and refresh three times to post. Skwirlz let me slip past this time, I hope.

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