A.M. Links: House Votes to End NSA Phone Spying, Derailed Amtrak Train Was Traveling Twice the Speed Limit, Boston Marathon Bombing Jury Begins Sentencing Deliberations

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  • "The engineer of the Amtrak train that derailed near Philadelphia—killing at least seven and sending more than 200 to area hospitals—applied the emergency brakes just seconds before the train jumped the tracks while hurtling along at almost twice the speed limit, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman said Wednesday."
  • The jury has begun its sentencing deliberations in the Boston marathon bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
  • After an attempted coup in Burundi, rival groups of soldiers are fighting for control of the capital.
  • Former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley, who is expected to challenge Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries, will make an announcement on March 30 detailing his political plans.

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  1. The House of Representatives voted 338 to 88 yesterday to prohibit the National Security Agency from collecting the bulk phone records of Americans.

    NSA laughs.

    1. Hello.

      May they all RIP.

    2. and by “phone” records they mean those devices connected to a wall with a wire?

      1. More like Alexander Graham Bell’s original invention b

    3. Exactly. “Now let the House enforce it.”

    4. Prohibition doesn’t work.

  2. So far I’ve finished my entire Xanax prescription and washed it down with Stolichnaya, and I’m going to be flicking more Peanuts this morning than Jimmy Carter after taking a dump!

    1. You are so unfunny.

      1. You tea-baggers aren’t known for you senses of humor, are you?

        1. Thus proving Crusty’s point.

        2. The real Shriek is bad enough, we don’t need a spoof.

          1. You see, he left out one of the “t”s in “buttplug,” so it’s a fake.

        3. If we’re laughing AT anxiety riddled drunken morons like you we certainly do.

    2. Xanax and Stoli- and you choose trolling a libertarian comment section for entertainment?

      YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!

  3. Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, who is expected to challenge Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries, will make an announcement on March 30 detailing his political plans.

    His political plans are to be Hillary’s running mate?

    1. March 30 is a little too late for the primaries.

    2. I thought Huma was Hillarys running mate

      1. “Running” mate; okay, sure.

  4. Kim Anami and her ‘legendary’ weight-lifting vagina commence European leg of world tour

    The life and sex coach is infamous not only for her self-proclaimed ‘legendary’ vagina, but also for bringing the ancient art of vaginal kung fu to the masses.

    She describes herself as a ‘Provocateur. Innovator. Illuminator. Catalyst. Quantum leap life and intimacy coach. Sexual muse. Liberation master. Pleasure savant’.

    She counts being able to shoot ping pong balls from your vagina as ‘an essential life skill.’ In fact, she says, ‘it’s every woman’s god given right.’

    [insert Warty joke here]

    1. She seems…useful.

      1. I imagine her unlocking the Doomcock by doing a sideways somersault and then running off with it trailing behind her like some monstrous prolapse.

        1. A new chapter, perhaps?

          1. Meh. I have to keep hurtling forward, like a shark or a Philly train.

          2. Episode VII: A New Vag

    2. Please. Delaware girls can do this by the age of eight.

    3. For those not intrigued with weight lifting vaginas, there is, of course, the pot smokers version:

      Cotton Vagina is a Real Thing

    4. #thingsiliftwithmyvagina

      It’s a brave new world.

  5. …applied the emergency brakes just seconds before the train jumped the tracks while hurtling along at almost twice the speed limit, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman said Wednesday.

    Also known as the Dukes of Hazzard Maneuver.

    1. He just wanted to see if the train would drift?

      1. I laffed.

    2. “Driving by train
      High on cocaine
      Casey Jones you’d better
      Watch your speed

      Trouble ahead
      Trouble behind
      And you know that notion
      Just crossed my mind”

  6. “Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, who is expected to challenge Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries, will make an announcement on March 30 detailing his political plans.”

    Forget that wingnut O’Malley, everyone knows it will be Jeb vs. Hillary, and I bet you Sub-morons have hard-ons just thinking about it!

    1. I bet you Sub-morons have hard-ons just thinking about it!

      I’m still thinking about vagina power lifting

    2. A bad parody is no less irritating than the real thing. Please stop.

      1. But you haven’t seen the real one around today, have you?

        1. No, but i smelled it in my cat’s litterbox this morning.

      2. I like it. Why does “butt” need two “T’s” anyway? It’s wasteful.

  7. Spot the Not: lyrics from national anthems

    1. What the alien power has seized from us, we shall recapture with a sabre

    2. So we have taken the drum of gunpowder as our rhythm and the sound of machine guns as our melody

    3. He who is a true man is not frightened, but dies a martyr to the cause

    4. Oh God, bless our bullets, bayonets, and grenades

    5. The path to glory is built by the bodies of our foes

    6. How can this fiery faith ever be extinguished by that battered, single-fanged monster you call “civilization”

    7. Let us all fight, every one of us, for our black country

    8. And if we have to die, what does it really matter?

    9. Countless fighters died for our beloved people

    10. Facing the enemy’s gunfire, march on!

    11. There sat in former times, the armour-suited warriors, rested from conflict

    12. Do not fear a glorious death, because to die for the motherland is to live

      1. That sounds like a verse from Hillary’s campaign theme.

    1. There is no “not,” these are all lyrics?

    2. You went through the lyrics of 12 national anthems?

      Man, you are dedicated.

      1. 12 national anthems is enough Derp to kill a lessor man.

          1. His advanced degree in derpetology? (sings)

            1. I am the very model of a modern Derpetologist,
              I’ve information prog, PC, and feminist,
              I know the derp of politics, and I quote the derps historical,
              From Salon to DU, in order categorical;
              I’m very well acquainted too with matters derpical,
              I understand prog-speake, both the simple and fanatical,
              About derp theorem I’m teeming with a lot o’ news—
              With many cheerful facts about the derp of the Millenials.

              1. +1 !!
                Patient: Doctor, I need to know what’s wrong with me . . .
                Dr: I’m sorry, but it’s plain to me, you need a derpendectomy . . .

    3. George Carlin observed that the US is the only country whose anthem mentions rockets and bombs. He failed to notice that the lyrics of other anthems also have violent imagery.

      1. Liberals tend to conveniently fail to realize things when it comes to their views and narratives.

        1. ^^^^So much this.

      2. Not only that, but they are rockets and bombs being shot at us. I’m actually a major fan of the anthem, previously because it celebrates our ability to endure, not our ability to kick ass. We do that in the Battle Hymn of the Republic, which is also awesome but would make a really unfortunate national anthem.

    4. They’re all so perfectly awful it’s hard to pick just one.

    5. please let it be 6

      1. That is from Turkey, which has a very emo anthem:

        Who would not sacrifice his life for this paradise of a homeland?
        Martyrs would burst forth should one simply squeeze the soil! Martyrs!
        May God take my life, all my loved ones, and possessions from me if He will,
        But let Him not deprive me of my one true homeland in the world.

      2. Wow, so that’s…Turkey?

        The second verse is also interesting:

        Oh coy crescent do not frown for I am ready to sacrifice myself for you!
        Please smile upon my heroic nation, why that anger, why that rage?
        If you frown, our blood shed for you will not be worthy.
        Freedom is the right of my nation who worships God and seeks what is right

    6. 4 is the Not. The others in order are from Poland, Algeria, Albania, Vietnam, Turkey, Congo Republic, also Congo Republic, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, and Cuba.

      1. Give a guy a chance.

    7. The not, she is 4.

      1. Winner!

        your prize:

        Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth into battle ? be Thou near them! With them ? in spirit ? we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it ?

        For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

        We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

        1. Is that “War Prayer” by Twain?

    8. The Germans still use the Deutchlandlied (sp?), but they removed the ‘Uber Alles’ stuff and stripped it down to the third verse:

      “Unity and right and freedom
      For the German fatherland!
      Let us all pursue this purpose
      Fraternally with heart and hand!
      Unity and right and freedom
      Are the pledge of happiness;
      |:Flourish in this blessing’s glory,
      Flourish, German fatherland!:|”

      (from Bundestag Web site)

      http://ow.ly/MWRO3

      1. See – those Germans are real softies!

        1. But don’t mess with Montenegro:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPtPjMdtofk

  8. O’Malley, who is expected to challenge Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries, will make an announcement on March 30 detailing his political plans.

    He evidently wants to take us backwards.

    1. I’ve always wanted to vote for a time traveller for president.

      1. Warty Wartman and the Electoral College of Doomcocks?

        1. Crap, *Hugeman.

    2. He evidently wants to take us backwards.

      So reverse cowboy government?

      1. So reverse cowboy government?

        If this is anything like reverse cowgirl then I’m all for it.

      2. What comes around, reaches around.

        1. I suspect an O’Malley Presidency would not have the common courtesy to give a reach-around.

  9. Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, who is expected to challenge Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries, will make an announcement on March 30 detailing his political plans.

    I’ll say, if he announces on March 30 that he’s invented time travel that might make for a good challenge to Hillary.

    1. 2016 has a March 30, too, you know.

      1. Not when O’Malley gets through with it, it won’t.

  10. Hundreds of bees terrorize subway after man kicks hive to prove it’s safe

    “He said his box was firmly secured and there would be no problem,” said Officer Xu. “To make his point, he said, ‘It’s secure, if you don’t trust me I’ll kick it and you’ll see,’ at that moment he kicked the box of bees with his foot.”

    Because we all know the dramatic principle of Chekhov’s box of bees: If there’s a box of bees in the first act, someone’s gotta kick that sucker open and release hundreds of bees in a subway station by the second or third.

    Which is exactly what happened. Turns out the box wasn’t so “firmly secured.”

  11. “Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, who is expected to challenge Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries, will make an announcement on March 30 detailing his political plans.”

    March 30, 2016?
    I CAN’T WAIT THAT LONG!

    1. Go to B-more and ask the cops to take you on the nickle ride courtesy of O’Malley.

  12. After an attempted coup in Burundi, rival groups of soldiers are fighting for control of the capital.

    No one ever plans for the vacuum.

    1. This comment sucks.

        1. That pun was so horrible, you should just dyson?

  13. Spot the Not: terrible tourism slogans

    1. Go to Hungary

    2. Come And Buy Things

    3. Admit It You Love It

    4. Visit Bangladesh Before Tourists Come

    5. Visit Armenia It Is Beautiful

    6. Fiji Me

    1. 7. Get Your Ass to Mars

      1. +1 “See you at the party”

      2. “You’ve come to the Wong place”

    2. Korea: Sparkling

  14. Wesley Clark: The Penny-Stock General

    Sixteen years ago, Wesley Clark was the four-star U.S. Army general running the Kosovo war. These days, he’s been pitching food-truck franchises to military veterans and helping a convicted felon raise money to grow hydroponic lettuce. “We’d love it if you joined with us in an investment,” the silver-haired Clark, 70, says in a promotional video for a company called the Grilled Cheese Truck. He’s pictured standing in front of a statue of a bald eagle in a replica of the Oval Office. “We’re going to be one of the fastest-growing young companies in America.”

    The grilled cheese venture is losing money and hasn’t signed any veterans as franchisees, and the lettuce operation is being sued for failing to pay its bills. They’re just two of a dozen precarious ventures with which Clark has been associated since he retired from the Army with the self-proclaimed goal?a joke, he says now?of making $40 million.

    1. Penny Stock General and 2004 Presidential Candidate.

    2. HAHAHAHA! I piss on you, Wesley!

      A fitting fate for a miserable general and vainglorious man.

      1. 2 Thumbs up.

    3. A fitting end for that fucking dirtbag.

      1. Maybe his old buddy Michael Moore can get him a job.

        1. Feeding him grilled cheese sammiches?

  15. The jury has begun its sentencing deliberations in the Boston marathon bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

    The courtroom sketch artists aren’t making him look very pretty so I say fry him.

    1. But he *wept* in the courtroom! Show some compassion!

      1. My compassion is that we won’t inflict death by slow slicing, the boats, or breaking on the wheel.

        1. Actually, given how he was captured, the boats may be appropriate.

        2. Actual life in prison for a guy as young as he is would be pretty horrific.

  16. When free-range parenting goes too far: How far “off the grid” should a family be allowed to go?

    The family have posted a copy of what they say was the intake info from their encounter with authorities. The report says that “The allegations were that the family was residing in a tent, mother had given birth in a tent, there is no running water or septic, none of the children were enrolled in school and the father threatened a neighbor with a weapon (asked child to hand him the gun.)” It goes on to say that on his inspection, Trooper Adam Hutchinson found “an area with numerous piles of garbage, broken glass and nails” and a “makeshift shed” that appeared to house animals, as well as “two makeshift tents that could provide shade by not enough space for the family.” It also cites a “lack of cooperation with the Cabinet’s investigation” and a conclusion that “CHFS does not feel like the children are safe at this time.” The parents have also posted several photos of what they refer to as their “cabin” ? a structure that does not appear to have solid walls or roofing. It doesn’t help the family’s case that Joe Naugler’s 19 year-old son from a previous relationship has spoken out against how his half siblings are being raised.

    1. These are the kinds of Christians I can approve of!

    2. Do the kids seem to be suffering? If not, it’s no one’s business.

      1. Do the kids seem to be suffering? If not, it’s no one’s business.

        From the pictures they look healthy and happy. So yes, leave them alone.

    3. So camping with your family is illegal now?

    4. I love how they label this “free range”. It’s almost like they’re trying to discredit Lenore Skenazy or something. Nah, that can’t be.

      1. When the Daily Mail reports the “free-range” stories, they always define free-range as total independence from birth.

        FROM BIRTH!

  17. “The engineer of the Amtrak train that derailed near Philadelphia?killing at least seven and sending more than 200 to area hospitals?applied the emergency brakes just seconds before the train jumped the tracks while hurtling along at almost twice the speed limit, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman said Wednesday.”

    Sigh. If only those evil, miserly rethuglikkkans had given us the paltry $3 trillion spending increase we asked for, we could have budgeted in some training for the engineers in regards to whether or not to follow the posted speed limits. How else would they know otherwise???

    Austerity has blood on it’s hands!

    1. Wasn’t the engineer driving at exceed speeds? What’s that got to do with cuts? And what, Obama/Bush’s massive stimulus was chopped liver?

      1. Report for sarc meter re-calibration.

        1. I’ll cut him some slack. I lurk more than I post, so for all he knew I could have just been Tulpa’s new sockpuppet account or something.

          1. Good point, and gracious of you.

            1. I just assume everyone is being sarcastic unless proven otherwise. It’s easier that way.

      2. I saw someone on CNN this morning blame the cuts because the engine didn’t have a robot backing up the engineer to apply the brakes.

        Of course, no one bothered to explain why we’d still employ the engineer if a robot could drive the train. Although you can be sure Amtrak WOULD continue to employ the engineer even if we spent millions installing robots to do the actual engineer-ing.

        1. Although you can be sure Amtrak WOULD continue to employ the engineer even if we spent millions installing robots to do the actual engineer-ing.

          What are you talking about? not only would he still be employed but they would have to hire more people to maintain the robots.

          1. And a cardre of robot maintenance union reps.

            1. Not only that but they will have to sub out anything that requires any type of work beyond rebooting the system.

              1. And that union only works MWF while the robot union works TT so you need an intermediary to communicate to each other.

        2. Seems like trains would be pretty easy to automate. Navigation is all taken care of.

          But I would think that at least until the system was very well proven you might want a human backup for the robo-train driver.

        3. Of course, no one bothered to explain why we’d still employ the engineer if a robot could drive the train.

          To deal with the unexpected. A robot would be run by a computer program that is designed to deal with limited scenarios. It would be unable to respond to anything except expected input. So you need a human on board for when the program doesn’t know what to do.

          1. Scenarios like when to choose to exceed the speed limit. Which coincidentally is my issue with driverless cars, those stickler drones will never realize how late I am.

            1. Driverless cars will have essentially no speedlimit once they are commonplace. They will go as fast as physically possible and there will be no traffic jams.

          2. Scenarios like when to choose to exceed the speed limit. Which coincidentally is my issue with driverless cars, those stickler drones will never realize how late I am.

            1. You could say that again.

      3. It should be noted that the general speed limit for the trains is 100mph. The problem was a failure to slow down for a sharp turn, not that he was zooming around like a madman. The fact he didn’t slow down needs to be investigated, but t seems like the way the news is describing it seems misleading to me.

        1. There are, as I see it, really two likely causes:

          1) The Engineer was literally asleep at the tiller.

          2) A malfunction prevented the train from responding to the Engineer’s commands.

          If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on (1).

          1. I don’t think he could have been asleep. The train had just left 30th Street station, probably less than 5 minutes before. Possible, but seems unlikely that he’d konk out that quickly.

        2. What exactly is misleading about hitting a 50mph turn at 100mph? The engineer wasn’t paying attention, or more likely fell asleep, resulting in the wreck.

          1. Or they used an accellerator from a toyota and got it stuck under the floor mat

            /bad joke.

          2. Describing a failure to slow down (a negative act) as speeding (a positive act) creates an impression of intention in what likely an act of negligence.

            1. I’m going the other way with this. I’m thinking Lufthansa copycat.

            2. Given the consequences, it might rise to gross negligence or recklessness. But that’s a good point, many of the stories have described the scenario in a reckless manner that could affect jury pools (see Matt Welch) and pressure prosecution.

            3. Failing to slow down to the prescribed limit, in other words consciously maintaining excessive speed, is speeding.

              1. Thank you, WTF.

                If you are travelling legally at 65mph and enter a 55MPH zone, and fail to slow down, you are speeding. End of story.

                1. Worse, the span before the curve had an 80mph limit, so he was speeding even before he hit the reduced speed zone.

                  Robert Sumwalt, of the National Transportation Safety Board, said a data recorder and a video camera in the train’s front end could yield clues to what happened. Amtrak inspected the stretch of track on Tuesday, just hours before the accident, and found no defects, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

                  Sumwalt said the engineer applied the emergency brakes moments before the crash but slowed the train to only 102 mph by the time the locomotive’s black box stopped recording data. The speed limit just before the bend is 80 mph, he said.

        3. I was hearing that most curves on this line have a trip that shuts you down if you’re going too fast. This one doesn’t.

      4. With enough stimulus cash, Amtrak could bank their corners like Thunder Mountain.

        1. Curves typically are banked.

        2. Thunder Mountain is a light rail system that actually makes a profit without government subsidy.

    2. Expecting a lackadaisical government employee to actually pay attention to what he’s doing triggers him!

    3. Pretty much the same thing happened in Spain a few years ago. And they spend gobs of money on high speed trains there.

      The video is pretty incredible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO74NUGaV_g

  18. ‘I Am Not Backing Off Anything I Said’
    An interview with Seymour Hersh.

  19. My God: The chaos that would reign if Rand Paul killed the Department of Education

    There wouldn’t be a department to check on rampant inequality between low-income school districts and wealthy districts.
    If the Department of Education were to be abolished, any oversight to protect disadvantaged children from receiving a sub-par education would go to the states, and historically, the states have proven they’re not capable of handling that responsibility, Marchitello said.
    “If you look at the last 50 years, or all of history, of state behaviors and rampant inequity at the state level in U.S. Supreme Court cases, it’s reasonable to think you’d see divestment from underserved communities, in favor of either saving money or to redirecting funds to places with more political clout and wealth,” Marchitello said.
    As far-fetched as the idea may seem to some, Rand’s views aren’t so different from those of Republicans more than four decades ago, who argued the department was unconstitutional because the Constitution didn’t mention education and that the creation of the department would hurt local control of schools.

    Nooooooo!

    1. What a waste of an article. Teachers unions aren’t going to stop giving to Democrats without the Rand Paul bogeyman to spear them.

    2. So why couldn’t the states just raise taxes cover the lost federal funds? Oh, because when they see it come out of their pocket they think more carefully about the spending? Huh.

    3. to redirecting funds to places with more political clout

      Oh, this is rich.

      1. Yeah, when have modern school districts redirected funds to places with political clout, like the teachers’ unions?

    4. “If you look at the last 50 years, or all of history…

      uh, what?

      1. Those kids in Ghegis Khans army had mobile classrooms with union teachers who worked their damdest to make sure the archers kids had as many school supplies as the cooks kids.

    5. In 2015…

      A time when you can get an online degree in Patterns Of Microaggressions From Starbucks Chugging White Bitches…

      Leave it to Team Blue to pearl clutch over decentralized education.

      1. Why did you change your handle, Agile?

        1. I’ll take that as a compliment

    6. These people are Luddites.

      1. Stop insulting Luddites.

    7. I just noticed something hilarious about that article. The two people they quote the most are Scott Sargard (director of standards and accountability for education policy at the Center for American Progress and former deputy assistant secretary for policy and strategic initiatives in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education) and Max Marchitello (policy analyst for pre-K education policy at the Center for American Progress).

      In other words, BOTH of the people they extensively quote are NOT independent educational experts, they’re policy analysts FOR THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS. And one of them is also a former deputy assistant at the Department of Education. Yeah, those guys certainly have no vested interests in defending the DOE given that both of them receive paychecks from the Center for American Progress (which has a pro-DOE editorial stance) and one of them actually worked for the department being discussed.

      This would be like if I said ‘George W. Bush is the greatest president ever, and I know this because his press secretary said so.’

      1. Mmm, Dana Perino.

    8. “the states have proven they’re not capable of handling that responsibility”

      I get the sense that the “children” they’re talking about are not actual children

      1. With that logic, they could just federalize everything and be done with “states” and “cities”. My wouldn’t that be a perfect world.

    9. My god, they care so much it hurts.

    10. No administration of Pell Grants.
      No oversight of civil rights laws.
      No check on inequality between low and high income school districts.
      More gender discrimination.
      Inability to check for fraud or waste of school funds.

      Who benefits? Not 99% of Americans.

      I’m not sure which one is the most ridiculous.

      1. No check on inequality between low and high income school districts.

        Just inequality? I thought it was always rampant inequality.

        1. Maybe they realized rampant was pushing it, when they were told low income districts usually have higher spending per pupil with worse results.

      2. And throughout there is the typical non acknowledgement that money and educational success have zero correlation.

        1. They would have correlation if the schools were any good, and responsive to the needs of the kids.

          But pouring money into the bad schools? May as well set the money on fire, or give it to a meth addict.

      3. I just realized, this guy gave a decent response:

        #1 so….. who issued the Pell Grant between ’72 – ’79, before the Dept. of Ed. existed?

        #2 The Office of Civil Rights is an arm of the Department of Education, and can directly report to Congress, no?

        #3 Maybe this would force municipalities to actually fix their schools, as opposed to just requiring more funding. Many schools in low income areas are at or above other localities as far as funding, and still have worse schools and higher dropout rates.

        #4 Good point. I’m curious as to why males are disproportionately being discriminated against. I’m guess that’s why they have a higher dropout rate, at any given time, of 2 percentage points.

        #5 Could the Office of the Inspector General not report directly to Congress?

        For a people who were so drunk on “change”, they are pretty heels-in-the-ground to keep everything the same.

    11. Fuckin’ fried-brain clickbait. There isn’t anything listed there that couldn’t be accomplished by an scaled-down Education Division in Health and Human Services, which is the way it worked for decades.

      The last line in the quoted section is particularly rich given the Federal obsession with Common Core and prog bitching about NCLB.

  20. I’m saving myself for God: True stories from evangelical purity culture

    Like most of her peers, Emily grew up in a ”very religious” household, went to church every Sunday (sometimes more than once), prayed and studied the Bible at home with her family, and was part of a youth group. She describes herself as ”very involved and very religious and very spiritual.” In her journal, she writes that she has ”religious experiences all the time” because she ”walk[s] every day with God.” Emily decided to attend an evangelical college because she wanted to ”surround herself ” with fellow students and faculty who would ”hold her accountable” in her faith.

    Nonetheless, Emily is effusive about sex.

    ”I have a very healthy sex life,” she continues happily. She then does something that makes me understand why she is not conflicted about sex: she takes her left hand from her lap and displays it on the table between us, revealing a big diamond ring. At 21, Emily is already married.

    21? *gasp*

    1. My first love in high school was brought up in a crazy Dutch Reformed Church household. She was dying to get some from me, but the programming had well taken hold before she met me. Her compromise was to give me no end of blowjobs, and by grade 12 she finally relented and went the distance.

      1. I came from a Dutch Reformed background – which is why I ended up dating Catholic girls.

      2. So, what’s she doing now?

        1. Got married to a fellow with money, had two kids, and got fat.

          Good for her, I guess.

      3. In his mind, he’s still driving, still making the grade
        She’s hoping in time that her memories will fade
        ‘Cause he’s racing and pacing and plotting the course
        He’s fighting and biting and riding on his horse

        🙂

        1. Cake is delicious.

          1. The cake is a lie.

      4. Was she going for speed?

    2. I know a few people (Mennonites, mostly) that got married straight out of HS. I got engaged at the ripe old age of 22 but my wife and I had already been together for 4 years. So I’m failing to see what the BFD is that someone would be married by 21.

      The real travesty is that she may not have been able to legally drink at her own wedding. That’s just BS.

    3. ”I have a very healthy sex life,” she continues happily.

      How is that possible? I thought only bitter old feminists have healthy sex lives.

    1. What were we talking about?

      1. Shiny objects, I think.

  21. Alligator spotted roaming entrance of drive-thru at South Carolina Taco Bell

    A South Carolina Taco Bell alerted authorities of an unusual customer Wednesday morning when an alligator was spotted crawling up the drive thru.

    Cynthia McCall, assistant manager for the franchise on the Isle of Palms Connector in Mt. Pleasant, said the large creature was spotted at the entrance of the vehicle only line around 7:30 a.m. shortly after the store opened.

    I hope it wasn’t waiting in line for a breakfast burrito.

    1. My larger peers actually prefer Taco Bell and Steel Reserve. There’s a reason they get schooled by felines all the time.

    2. Dammit, where is the reference to global warming – I want to read about gators chomping on congressmen in DC next year.

      1. Gators are already moving up into southeast Virginia – state wildlife commission won’t admit it because then they’d have to do something about it, but they’re all over the Dismal Swamp.

        1. “the Dismal Swamp”

          Home of the ROUS?

          1. Well, there’s some pretty mean squirrels in there, and some beavers, but all the really large rodents got eaten by the exploding population of black bears.

            1. Those aren’t Black Bears, those are the ROUSes!

            2. Black bears vs. crocs? Let nature take its course.

            3. “the exploding population of black bears”

              OMG….BEARZ GOT SUICIDE C4 VESTS!!!!

      2. Your best bet, though, is to hold out for mountain lion attacks. Pumas are all over Virginia, too (probably descended from escaped pets), so it’s just a matter of time – and DC’s not that far from the Blue Ridge Mountains.

        1. They are ranging into Berkeley now in CA. No hunting anymore so no scardy cats.

        2. “probably descended from escaped pets”

          Doubtful. Those siuckers roam huge. A few years back, mountain lion thet was seen at the Mississippi River in Minneapolis was tracked all the way to Connecticut, where sadly, it was hit by a car.

          1. Tests of fur and poo from Virginia pumas found that some have genetic markers unique to Peruvian puma populations and some have markers unique to Californian pumas. Since they don’t roam THAT huge, the conclusion was that most pumas in Virginia are probably descended from escaped/discarded pets who were imported from elsewhere.

  22. What the New York Times gets shockingly wrong about the future of the Democratic Party

    Yes, there are tensions within the party. It’s a very big party. But there have always been tensions within both of the parties. Why would anyone expect something different when there are only two of them in a country of more than 300 million people? And as polling has shown, that big country has become more polarized between the two main parties, which makes these internecine battles even more energized as the most active members of both seek to push their parties to represent their interests. The political establishment calls this “disarray” and characterizes it as some kind of tearing at the fabric of our civic life. In reality, it’s just democracy.

    If I were to put my money on a party being in disarray, I certainly wouldn’t put it on the Democrats. Doesn’t it occur to anyone that if there was a serious schism in the party that there would be a whole drill team’s worth of candidates vying for the nomination? It’s the Republicans who are putting on a three-ring presidential circus while the Democrats are on track to stage a rather stately campaign of ideas. I can’t even imagine the “disarray” inside that very crowded GOP clown car. It’s got to be a major mess in there.

    1. “while the Democrats are on track to stage a rather stately campaign of ideas.”

      Just keep telling yourself that, Salon.

      1. No, they are running campaigns of ideas. And “stately” works, so long as by “stately”, they mean “repeatedly proven wrong since over 100 years ago”.

        1. I’m thinking “stately” was a pun on the idea of enlarging the state.

      2. I laughed at that

      3. Well, I guess “Vote for Hillary, because VAGINA!” is an idea, of sorts.

    2. there are only two of them

      Wut?

    3. What the New York Times gets shockingly wrong about [fill in the blank with just about anything]

      1. When you’ve lost the NYT…

  23. Nate Silver: There Is No ‘Blue Wall’

    But for now? The Electoral College just isn’t worth worrying about much. If you see analysts talking about the “blue wall,” all they’re really saying is that Democrats have won a bunch of presidential elections lately ? an obvious fact that probably doesn’t have much predictive power for what will happen this time around.

    I’m not saying Clinton is doomed. Rather, I think the “fundamentals” point toward her chances being about 50-50, and I wouldn’t argue vigorously if you claimed the chances were more like 60-40 in one or the other direction. But Clinton is no sort of lock, and if she loses the popular vote by even a few percentage points, the “blue wall” will seem as archaic as talk of a permanent Republican majority.

    1. No chance. The stupid wingnuts are going to make this happen no matter what. The Blue Wall is bigger than the Great Wall of China.

    2. all they’re really saying is that Democrats have won a bunch of presidential elections lately

      uh, 2 is a bunch?

      1. What’s actually being said is that these states have gone blue since the 90s, but the article writer doesn’t want to admit what this represents a failure in the first past the post electoral college allocation. Proportional electoral vote distribution might improve voter turnout, because it would be less certain that [NYC would screw over upstate again,] (apply state-applicable replacement here.) etc, etc.

  24. We all rightly despise Mitch McConnell, but I do love his answer to this question

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell apparently has a sense of humor about Jon Stewart’s propensity to offer comparisons between the Kentucky Republican and a turtle.

    Asked whether it hurt his feelings when he saw “The Daily Show” host portray him over and over as a turtle, Mr. McConnell said, “I loved it.”

    “I ended up carrying 110 out of 120 counties,” Mr. McConnell told CNBC’s John Harwood. “I won by 15 points. And I beat a 35-year-old woman among women. I’ve been elected to the position I hold now by my colleagues unanimously multiple times. It’s nice to be approved by the people that count.”

    The best way to tell people like Stewart to fuck off is to just point at the scoreboard.

    1. Mitch isn’t a turtle, he’s a Muppet. He looks like an older version of Beaker.

  25. Rand Paul Visits Secret Room To Read Obamatrade, Calls For Public Release Of Deal Text

    “I think I am not supposed to reveal the details of it, but I can tell you it was about 800 pages long,” Paul said.

    Only 800 pages? Sheesh, how good can it be?

    1. How was he not discover face-down, snoring into the text?

  26. South Koreans are breaking the law to get love tattoos of their cats

    A new trend is sweeping South Korea ? cat owners getting tattoos of their pet cats ? and it’s made all the more daring by the fact they’re breaking the law to do it.

    Although inking is technically illegal in Seoul, tons of cat lovers are going underground to honour their cats.

    1. Looking at the results, it’s totally worth the risk.

      *** sarcasm detected ***

    2. inking is technically illegal in Seoul

      What a shame. Tatts are often a reliable way to spot and avoid douchebags.

  27. The next proxy Kulturwar battle between comic book nerds and feminists: CBS launches ‘Supergirl’ TV show

    1. Could they not get someone hotter? I mean come on.

      1. She’s cute, which I think works because like Clark Kent Supergirl should be a very unassuming Midwestern, girl-next-door type.

        1. Which Clarke Kent has not been good looking? They were all hotter than this broad.

      2. They would have been yelled at if they did. Just be happy they didn’t cast some tattooed bucktooth pushing 250.

        1. Lena Dunham stars as… GAH!!!!!!

          1. The Penguin?

    2. I watched the trailer. It looks pretty meh, but that’s mostly because broadcast TV sucks and the general story has been done before, not because its about Supergirl.

      I’ve enjoyed the recent comics craze but it’s just become so stale. Either the hero is brooding and struggling with their identity in a dark world (which is collectively referred to as being “deep” and “gritty” and “real”) or the plot is so ridiculously formulaic that the characters and settings are totally interchangeable.

      GOTG and Winter Soldier were two notable exceptions. GOTG was formulaic as all hell but it was still fun. Winter Soldier was actually reasonably good and managed to deal with some interesting modern issues (albeit in a fairly simplistic fashion) without descending into a fap-fest over its own seriousness and importance.

      So its possible Marvel and DC will still make some good movies going forward, but most are probably going to be throwaway, and I hold out zero hope for TV.

      1. I just like the Superman mythos and am happy with this show’s potential if it might allow Supes to show up. Or maybe even Batgirl. Lots of possibilities there.

        Based on ‘Flash’, shows like this start out awkwardly and slow as it finds its footing but afterwards it gets better. I’ll give it a chance for half a season.

    1. And you’re a seven foot tall, rampaging omnisexual….?

      1. No, that’s STEVE SMITH.

        Warty is the four foot ten rampaging omnisexual.

        1. I thought STEVE SMITH was a 7 foot tall Rapesquatch? Or are rapesquatches all omnisexual too?

          1. Any port in a storm, Swiss.

            1. Anything warm and concave. And the warmth is optional.

              1. Optional my ass. Ever fuck a vag that’s at absolute zero? It’s only mildly pleasurable.

                1. Your own ass? We all have our talents, i guess.

  28. I think that the caps game last night proved that God is unquestionable real and he hates the f’n caps. Take that atheists.

    1. But..but…Ovechkin guaranteed a win!!!!!

      1. You know who else guaranteed a win…

        1. A couple of guys with a middle name of ‘The’?

          1. Alexander The Great?

            Ivan The Terrible?

            ?thelred The Unready? ….wait.

            1. It was actually a line from a Robin Williams stand up sketch about mobsters.

              1. I was trying to play along with Lord H’s “you know who else…”

        2. Ocho Cinco?

        3. Matt Hasselback?

      2. When your team’s main skill consists of being as violent as possible, maybe other skills are neglected…

    2. Lundqvist has how many more years left in the league?

  29. Infrastructure!!!

    (music is a good addition to the vid)

    1. Democrats [pushed] for more spending on America’s infrastructure, in some cases placing blame at the feet of Republican budget cuts. Never mind that the cause of the accident appears to be the train was traveling more than 100 miles per hour around a curve with a speed limit of 50.

      If putting airbags on the infrastructure might help save just one life, aren’t we obligated to try?

      1. Only if we get to use my political enemies as the airbags.

        1. Line the tracks with progs? Or would the dems line the tracks with climate change deniers and people who don’t support giant infrastructure bills?

          1. Being “first on the track”, they don’t get to pick who follows them.

    2. “It is not known how more money could have eliminated the human error in this case.”

      Wrong. Like I mentioned above, a simple trip-switch or whatever it’s called is all that’s needed.

  30. Cops for Gun Control

    In 2013, 25 officers were shot and killed with guns that weren’t their own, according to FBI data. The report shows 13 of those murders, or 52 percent, were committed by men who were barred by law from either purchasing or possessing a gun because of prior criminal convictions, mental illness or other factors.

    “Police officers are on the front lines protecting our communities each and every day — we owe it to them to close the loopholes that make it easy for criminals to dodge background checks and easily get their hands on guns,” John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement Thursday.

    There was 19-year-old Eric John Knysz, who fatally shot 47-year-old Michigan State Trooper Paul Kenyon Butterfield during a traffic stop. In 2008, Knysz pleaded guilty to first-degree felony of home invasion and was convicted as an adult, which prohibited him from possessing firearms.

    There was 40-year-old Mario Edward Garnett, who shot and killed 38-year-old Sgt. Kevin Gale Stauffer during a bank robbery in Tupelo, Mississippi. Garnett, too, was barred from having a gun because of a conviction three years earlier for threatening the president of the United States.

    Yeah, if only we had more laws. Then it would work. Also, only 25 nationwide in one year? War on Cops my ass.

    1. 25 deaths is a rounding error in a country this size. Wide-reaching, unconstitutional policy isn’t going to influence it.

      1. And regular supporters of gun control. Wouldn’t want the “civilians” to have guns that could hurt them.

        1. We put out a lot of cop hate around here, much of it dead on, but I don’t think this is true at all for most police.

          The “Major Cities Chiefs Organization” has nothing at all to do with what the rank and file believe. That is a political organization that may represent a number of democratic political appointees.

    2. On the front page of the local paper there was a huge spread about the community coming together to help the poor families of our brave protectors who are so often killed in the line of duty. Then it goes on to mention that the last time one of the department’s cops died was in 1981.

      Putting their lives on the line every day, my ass.

      1. There was someone on this very board who was defending cops (probably a Tulpa sockpuppet). I mentioned that cops in, for example, Stockton, California are paid enormous salaries despite the city going into bankruptcy. He said they needed that pay because of how ‘dangerous’ the job was. I then googled ‘Dead Cops Stockton California’ and found a webpage dedicated to remembering cops who died on the job. Literally 4 or 5 cops have died on the job in Stockton since 1990 and 2 or 3 of them died from things like heart attacks and traffic accidents.

        They deserve those massive pensions that bankrupted the state, man! One of them dies every 7 years or so!

        1. The mayor of the city next to the one I was referring to in my comment has published pieces in the paper defending the acquisition of military gear by saying there is a war on cops. So I looked up officer fatalities in his city, and there have been two in the last hundred years. One was shot, the other died in a car accident. The only war out there is being conducted not against the cops, but by the cops.

          1. Here in New Hampshire they never tire of pointing to Greenland chief Maloney and reserve officer Arkell, both killed in the line of duty. in 2012 and 2014. The same example repeated 100 times is not 100 examples. Plus in both those cases the cops basically got themselves killed by mishandling volatile situations.

            1. Just look up the Bureau of Labor Statistics for job mortality. Cops aren’t even in the top 20. Even sanitation workers have a higher job mortality figure than cops do. “Cops, less heroic than Garbage Men!”

    3. Infuriating.

      Of all people these idiots should know that criminals and other bad actors don’t buy guns through through the legally prescribed channels. They don’t submit to background check that every FFL administers when selling a gun.

      But they still get the guns they use to commit crimes.

      This is proof that these assholes just want to disarm the entire population.

      1. The article outright states that over 50% of police murders were by people not legally allowed to own a gun. They never say how those guys got guns then. They clearly managed to get around current gun control laws, but if we just had more gun control the problem would be solved.

      2. Someone has to legally buy a gun before someone can illegally buy a gun. So the best way to stop people from illegally buying guns is to stop people from legally buying guns. They don’t intend to stop people from legally buying guns. They intend to stop people from illegally buying guns.

        1. So in this scenario Mexico ceases to exist, right?

  31. Baltics request ‘permanent’ NATO brigade

    “It is anticipated the joint letter will be sent next week,” the statement said.

    “An Allied presence is an essential prerequisite for Latvia’s security in a situation where Russia does not change its policies regarding the Ukraine conflict and at the same time strongly demonstrates its military presence and potential in the Baltic Sea region,” the statement concludes.

    While listing various evidences of NATO’s commitment to defend the Baltic states, such as the increase of its training exercises and more planes on its Baltic air patrol missions, the statement does not explain why the request for a “permanent” presence has been made now, after senior figures including Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma and Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis previously said they were happy with NATO troops coming as part of rotating training exercises.

    1. *blows dust off old REFORGER and CAPSTONE documents*

      1. Yeah, but instead of driving M60 tanks, these dog soldiers will be riding in UAHs and Strykers with John Browning’s second most famous invention.

        1. The semi-automatic shotgun? the Browning Automatic Rifle? The hi-power?

          Oh, you mean the 1911.

          /sarc.

          1. Damn straight, though the BAR does make me quiver

            1. I want a BAR.

              Go here, nice rifles.

              http://www.browning.com/produc…..sp?f1=002B

              1. Those BARs are different than the BAR light machine gun.

                My FNAR has the same action as the hunting rifle, which fires from the closed bolt, while the machine gun fires from an open bolt (like old Ma Deuce).

                Completely different guns, both designed by JB.

                1. Completely different guns, both designed by JB.

                  I know, I was sarc-ing Swiss. I have a BAR hunting rifle, very nice.

                  *hangs head*

            2. I don’t know how anyone could handle that thing, pumping out .30-06 rounds. Assault rifle on fucking steroids. Browning was a man way ahead of his time.

  32. White House on Sherrod Brown: ‘He’ll find a way to apologize’

    The White House responded Wednesday to Sen. Sherrod Brown’s criticism of President Barack Obama’s treatment of fellow Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

    White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Brown is “a stand-up guy.”

    “I’m confident after he’s had a chance to look at the comments he made yesterday that he’ll find a way to apologize,” Earnest told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday.

    Brown, one of the top Democratic senators leading the charge against the president’s trade effort, suggested Tuesday that Obama was being “disrespectful” and hinted that Warren’s gender might have been a factor.

    1. Up-thread isn’t some retard talking about how united the democrats are?

    2. By tossing Obama’s salad

      1. *reads comment, makes note to skip lunch*

    3. He’ll find a way to apologize. . .or he’ll pay dearly.

      1. You make it sound like Obama is Darth Vader, but he’s more like Helmet in Space Balls.

        1. “Evil will always triumph, because Good is dumb.”

    4. “I’m confident after he’s had a chance to look at the comments he made yesterday that he’ll find a way to apologize,”

      Say what you will about Obama, but he’s a master of the art of being a dick.

      1. My theory is that it all started when no one in the Choom Gang kicked his skinny ass when he “intercepted” the joint for extra tokes. When being a dick could lead to being fed a knuckle sandwich, you learn to modify your behavior.

        1. Black privilege.

  33. The jury has begun its sentencing deliberations in the Boston marathon bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

    Will there be more anarchists by the end of this?

    1. One can hope.

      1. Right now ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
        I am an anti-Christ
        I am an anarchist,
        Don’t know what I want
        But I know how to get it
        I want to destroy the passerby
        ‘Cause I want to be anarchy,

        No dogs body

        Anarchy for the MA
        It’s coming sometime and maybe
        I give a wrong time, stop a traffic line.

        Your future dream is a shopping scheme
        ‘Cause I want to be anarchy,
        In the city

        How many ways to get what you want
        I use the best, I use the rest
        I use the enemy.
        I use anarchy
        ‘Cause I want to be anarchy,
        Its the only way to be

        Is this the MBTA
        Or is this the CA/T
        Or is this the BPD
        I thought it was the MA
        Or just another country
        Another housing authority.

        I want to be anarchy
        And I want to be anarchy
        (Oh what a name)
        And I want to be an anarchist
        (I get pissed, destroy!)

        1. You know who else got pissed and destroyed things?

          1. Bruce Banner?

          2. Any two year old?

          3. Rock bands staying at pricy hotels?

          4. The wife in the Godfather?

  34. A couple weeks ago you guys discussed negative interest rates. It’s something I still can’t wrap my mind around. Forgive my naivety on any of these questions, but:

    – Why wouldn’t you just invest in American (or some other countries’) treasuries or money markets? Not that those are paying much, mind, but surely it’s better than paying a bank to hold your money.
    – Why not hold straight cash?

    There have to be costs that I’m missing. With the second one, it’s probably the more obvious fact of it being a pain/security risk to hold such a large amount of cash. The first one, though doesn’t make much sense to me. Presumably the people who have their money in negative-rate accounts/bonds have the means to access a broad array of markets, so surely they could find something that, at the very least, is not (nominally) negative?

    1. Security. Or it’s just banks buying bonds at the behest of the FED.

      Apparently something like 50% of bonds issued these days in the EU and US/CAN are negative (think I read that on Zerohedge).

      I keep a lot of cash in my bank account and it probably gets .1% interest, but I do it for the 6 months spending security — at least until the Fed decides to take it from me.

  35. Swedish peace activists deploy ‘gay sailor’ to deter Russian submarines

    Ever wondered how to keep suspected Russian submarines out of your territorial waters?

    Never mind expensive naval hardware — Swedish peace activists have come up with a novel method: lowering a “Singing Sailor” device emitting a gay-friendly message via Morse code into the Baltic Sea.

    The unlikely sounding device is the brainchild of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, which describes itself as the world’s oldest peace organization.

    In an effort to combat military aggression and homophobia in one fell swoop, it’s created the “subsurface sonar system” to greet any Russian submariners who might find themselves lost in Swedish waters.

    The animated neon sign shows a man wearing only a sailor’s hat and white underpants thrusting his hips, with little love hearts flashing. It bears the message: “Welcome to Sweden” in both Russian and English, with the text “Gay since 1944” — a reference to the year that Sweden legalized homosexuality — added in English.

    A Morse code message simultaneously calls out: “This way if you are gay.”

    1. I…. Wow. It’s like a 4chan troll is running the department of defense.

      1. “the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society”

        Might be, Idle, might be.

      2. Also providing the subs with a lovely underwater positional beacon…. unless they move it around.

    2. In Russia, Deterrence is so gay!

  36. “Derailed Amtrak Train Was Traveling Twice the Speed Limit”

    And yet this morning, MSNBC was blaiming the crash on Republicans. I am not making this up.

    1. If only Dems had gotten to spend all the money they’d wanted rails would be so overbuilt they could handle speeds like that.

      1. Reardon Steel FTW.

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