A.M. Links: Pope Addresses Congress, Another Government Shutdown Looms, Hundreds Die Near Mecca

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  1. The Pope will address Congress today.

    They hate free enterprise, too.

    1. Hello.

      “The Pope will address Congress today.”

      Tiramisu is a right!

  2. “Donald Trump wants the FCC to fine a critical Fox News pundit.”

    He and Anita Dunn can compare notes.

    1. If I were more conspiracy minded… *pats foil homburg, looks around for Tonio to get more foil* I would think this is Trump getting more PR for Fox, on purpose…

      1. He certainly is intent on getting more PR for…himself!

        1. Trump drops out eventually, makes up with Fox and gets show?

          /Konspiracee

          1. If he does not get the nomination he is going to get a show somewhere, and he will be paid an enormous sum to do it.

            1. Or, he could do a Beck-like network,where he could make a lot of money and have total control.

              1. “The Blaze of Glory” – all TRUMP all the time

  3. Human-Poop Dumpers Menace Brooklyn Block

    Someone has been leaving piles of poop, pee, paper towels and feminine hygiene products on the block sporadically for the past four years, and in the past four months there’s been an onslaught of 15 disgusting dumpings, said local resident Barbara Eidinger.

    Late Sunday night, the mystery dumper left a foul stew of poop and pee at the base of three sycamore trees along the north side of 17th Street overlooking the Prospect Expressway.

    1. Hippies fertilizing the trees

    2. (Human-)Poop Dumpers

      Nice band name.

      1. Possibly. Anyway, I trust she’s getting an audience with the poop.

        1. Is the poop Catholic?

          1. every poop is sacred…

          2. Does a poop bear in the woods?

            1. I know YOU do.

    3. There’s a guy in my neighborhood known as the “Sidewalk Shitter”, because he would let his dog shit on the paved pathway leading from someone’s front door. I found out who he was and dumped a month’s worth of my dog’s shit on his porch. And then the sidewalk shittings stopped.

      1. Checked your roof lately?

      2. Where did you store your one month pile of dog shit before you spread it on his porch?

        1. asking for a friend?

        2. In my back yard. I’m not a big fan of picking up shit when bacteria and bugs will do it for me. Kind of like an oil spill, except with shit.

      3. IIRC one of the Navy’s aircraft carriers had a “phantom shitter” that would poop in random passageways around the ship.

    4. POOP!

      There it is!

      POOP!

      There it is!

      /Tag Team

      1. *narrowed gaze, there it is!*

  4. Volkswagen CEO Likely to Get $32 Million Pension After Leaving

    Martin Winterkorn, engulfed by a diesel-emissions scandal at Volkswagen AG, amassed a $32 million pension before stepping down Wednesday, and may reap millions more in severance depending on how the supervisory board classifies his exit.

    After Winterkorn disclosed Wednesday that he had asked the board to terminate his role, company spokesman Claus-Peter Tiemann declined to comment on how much money the departing CEO stands to get. Volkswagen’s most recent annual report outlines how Winterkorn, its leader since 2007, could theoretically collect two significant payouts.

    1. Which will be scooped up once VW’s D&O insurance runs out…

      1. Yea – I’m sure their limit is in the stratosphere but this could be a full-limit loss.

        1. I am guessing a tower of about ~$500M USD, but it will go away – especially since their E&O won’t answer … “gosh, nice intentional act you committed…”

          1. I am guessing a tower of about ~$500M USD, but it will go away – especially since their E&O won’t answer … “gosh, nice intentional act you committed…”

            This sounds like a claim that would be at least in part paid for by a general liability policy under a clause protecting against employee negligence and fraud. How is this an errors and omissions claim?

            The offended parties are regulatory agencies who will issue penalties themselves but if those were covered at all those fines would be covered by a CGL, and perhaps there could be some ‘false advertising’ sort of claims if they used their vehicle’s emissions as a selling point to buyers, but advertising coverage is part of a general liability policy too.

            1. CGL generally excludes product recall and misdeeds by employees, same with regulatory fines…at least if you are using ISO forms.

              1. CGL generally excludes […] misdeeds by employees

                Here in Ohio, coverage against ‘misdeeds’ (within reason) by employees is a very standard part of a CGL policy for companies that have employees that are non-family members. Like coverage against employees embezzling from clients, the employer or even somehow sabotaging the business itself.

                1. Large companies like VW are often self-insured.

    2. He swears he didn’t know anything about the lying or the cheating.

      1. he never knew till reading about it in the press. Hey, it works for presidents of nations.

        1. Only because the Presidents control the guys with the guns.

  5. The letter specifically asks legislators to refrain from attempting to shake hands or make conversation with Pope Francis when he arrives in the House chamber.

    They will, however, be permitted to shout “You lie!” during the speech.

    1. I blame global warming. The warming has caused more of the faithful to make their pilgrimage now while they still have time before the coming climatepocolypse. The deaths are an inevitable outcome of the overcrowding.

      1. I blame capitalism. Capitalism has raised quality of life everywhere, though only marginally in non-capitalist countries, thus giving more people the resources needed to go on a pilgrimage. QED

      2. No, it’s capitalism’s fault. Which has made the world richer (even those with dumb restrictions on money lending) allowing millions to go on Hajj every year. See, the pope is right.

    2. good lord, they can’t even do the pilgrimage without some violence. I know, racist!!!

      1. I suspect just having a crowd that size all basically trying to get to one point is enough to account for such incidents.

        1. That explains all the trampling deaths at Disneyworld. And Trump’s campaign events.

          1. Happens at concerts and similar events often enough. With a lot fewer deaths, but also a lot fewer in attendance.

            But no, it must be something about their evil Muslim-ness.

            1. +1 The Who 1979 Cincinnati concert (1 week before I saw them!)

              1. Are you suggesting they locked the gates to Mecca causing everyone to approach the same small entrance? Probably similar poor planning.

              2. “I’d walk over you to see The Who!”

      2. Stampedes have been a semi-regular occurrence at hajj. In general, they have done a huge amount of work on ways to control the crowds through infrastructure, and stampedes had declined for a while.

        It’s a colossal grouping of people all headed for the same small building complex and back and forth to the outlying hills. The scale is truly massive.

    3. A Jew told me it was the Jews’ fault.

      1. If we can kill Jesus, we’re capable of anything.

        1. By accounts, that effort didn’t succeed.

          1. They make shit up. Dude was dead. We paid the wops good money for that hit.

          2. +1 Rez-erection

        2. I thought the Romans killed Jesus.

          1. Shh… the Romans are in charge now. We are supposed to forget that the people who killed Jesus now run the largest Jesus franchise on the planet.

            1. And history repeats.

              1. Except now they are killing his philosophy.

      2. The Jews are trying to steal the 300kg gold doors on the Kaaba. They’re not named Goldsteins for nuthin’.

      3. You still talk with Sheldon Richman?

  6. At least 450 people have died as a result of a stampede during the Hajj pilgrimage near Mecca.

    Doesn’t this happen at every fucking Hajj? You’d think they might have implemented a little better crowd management by now.

    1. It’s done on purpose, WTF. Martyrdom, don’t ya know.

      1. Losing one’s life during the Hajj season is considered by many devout Muslims as an entry to heaven.

        1. You would think they would just form a human road and get it over with, but maybe it’s all about surge death numbers. I mean is there a minimum number for the group to exceed the martyrdom threshold? Like do you have to have twenty to get the discount?

    2. Allah will require such yearly sacrifices until the Great Satan is wiped from the Earth, infidel.

    3. I don’t think anyone cares – except perhaps those caught underfoot.

      1. “Allahu OUCHbar!”

        1. Swiss Servator. Calling Swiss Servator. You are needed in the second stamped thread. Swiss Servator, you are needed in the second stampede thread.

    4. Because they have such outstanding organizational skills?

    5. Yes, this does happen every year, to one extent or another.

      1. Just think if Muslims shopped on Black Friday.

    6. They’ve tried to.

      The ceremony was the scene of stampedes and hundreds of deaths in the 1980s and 1990s as pilgrims passed a crowded bottleneck area leading to the small pillars on the ground.

      In 2006, a stampede there killed at least 363 people.

      After that, the Saudi government erected three massive pillars and completed a $1.2 billion, five-story bridge nearby where pilgrims can toss stones. It was meant to be a roomier atmosphere and a more efficient way to accommodate the faithful.

      1. pilgrims can toss stones …a more efficient way to accommodate the faithful

        than crushing them underfoot.

    7. Just like that kid who drowned, this is a feature not a bug.

      1. Now, Drake ….

      2. I really hope that was intended humorously.

        1. Nope – the dead kid professional photo shoot got the gates of Vienna to open up like Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha never could.

          The dead pilgrims are martyrs.

          1. Oh, you mean from their perspective. Still not sure I agree, but I get your drift.

            1. You get his drift? How insensitive…

              1. I feel like I’m missing something.

                1. The dead kid drifted to shore…

                  1. Ah. Too subtle for the morning, I guess.

    8. They denied us the Hajj!

        1. What has happened to the comments? Back in the glory days there would have been 5 Dune references before mine.

          1. The spice no longer flows.

          2. I will not Trump. Trump is the mind-killer. Trump is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face Trump. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the Trump has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

            1. You’re going to let Trump pass through you? Ewww

          3. Where is Pro Lib?

            1. I think you mean Prol’Dib

            2. That’s a good question.

          4. Dune is boring, that is what happened.

            1. Dune is boring, that is what happened.

              You are water to be wasted.

            2. The gaze of my blue-within-blue eyes is narrowed.

            3. Dune may be boring, but it’s also very interesting.

              I kind of know what people who think it’s boring mean. Whenever I read Frank Herbert, I find that I will all of a sudden realize that something really exciting has been happening for a while and I hardly noticed.

            4. Wait until you are stranded in the desert without a thumper and a melange is on the horizon…

              Say hello to the Shai-Hulud…

            5. *checks maula pistol, crysknife and shield*

    9. Well there’s a shit ton of Muslims that show up for this sort of thing. It’s pretty inconvenient religious precept to have a call to action for ALL practitioners to converge on one central location every single year. The best equipped and most organized crowd controllers can’t possibly prevent a stampede in groups of people that dense, and I mean dense in two ways.

      1. They’re not all obligated to go every year, just once in their lives.

        1. And only then if they can reasonably afford it.

        2. The Hajj happens every year, no?

          1. Yeah, from the 8th to the 12th of the last month of the Islamic year.

    10. They’ve actually done a shit-ton to improve crowd management, and it was starting to have some positive effects in recent years, IIRC. This might be one of the outliers going forward.

  7. VW Scandal Threatens to Ensnare BMW as EU Urges Wider Probe

    Volkswagen AG’s diesel-cheating affair deepened as the European Union urged all 28-member countries to start their own investigations and the scandal threatened to ensnare rival BMW AG.

    “We are inviting all member states to carry out investigations at the national level,” European Commission spokeswoman Lucia Caudet said in Brussels on Thursday. “We need to have the full picture whether and how many vehicles certified in the EU were equipped with defeat devices.”

    In Germany, the transport ministry said Thursday spot checks of vehicles would not be limited to Volkswagen, while BMW shares plunged after a report that a diesel version of the X3 sport utility vehicle emitted more than 11 times the European limit for air pollution in a road test.

    1. German Engineering like this could be employed to adjust Global temperature data

      1. I think it already has been.

        1. Yes, temperature data seems to be different when testing than when observed in real life.

          1. Those actual temperature measurements need to be ‘adjusted’. Because, SCIENCE!

    2. A lot of articles about this don’t specify what kind of air pollution they are talking about. Which is rather misleading since it is a very specific pollutant and other emissions are actually reduced with the “cheat”.

      There are a lot of damn diesels in Europe and fuel is really expensive. This will be a big mess if they force everyone to change how they run.

    3. I’m getting the feeling other car manufacturers may do this as well.

      So what are they gonna do? Put VW out of business?

        1. I think they can get through this – it will be a Triumph of the Will.

          *looks around*

          1. You know who else etc.?

          2. Triumph was British. You must be adlered this morning.

  8. At least 450 people have died as a result of a stampede during the Hajj pilgrimage near Mecca

    That’s why we use foam Greek columns around our deity.

  9. The Wall Street Journal gets whacked: How its Bernie Sanders hit piece completely backfired
    A provocative headline claims his proposals will cost taxpayers $18 trillion. Nonsense, says an Amherst professor

    He writes that the Journal wasn’t completely wrong: the program would involve spending $15 trillion over a decade. But they left out the key detail: it would actually save the country a total $5 trillion over those 10 years. We’d see those savings in reduced administrative waste, lower pharmaceutical and device prices, and by decreasing the rate of medical inflation.

    Because the simple fact is: We, as a people, are going to spend that $15 trillion on health care anyway. The difference is that under the current model, we pay that money to private insurance companies. And those private companies have much higher levels of administrative costs, fraud and general waste than Medicare does. Another difference is that the government would be negotiating drug prices, making drugs more affordable for everyone.

    oh stay classy, Salon.

    1. Another difference is that the government would be negotiating drug prices

      Not the case with Medicare Welfare Part D (thanks Dubya) – which even forbids importing cheap Canadian drugs.

      1. Too bad the Democrats didn’t fix this when they had the Senate and the House…

        /see the Derp can go both ways

        1. Somehow another country price fixing a commodity, and people in the country of origin of the commodity trying to take advantage of that (over the objections of both the importing country and the commodity) is “free market/classical liberalism”…

          1. Are you doubting PB’s claim that he’s a “classic liberal”? I can’t possibly see why that is…

    2. And those private companies have much higher levels of administrative costs, fraud and general waste than Medicare does.

      I am goddamn gonna need to see a fucking citation for that.

      1. It’s in the author’s ass.

      2. Because medicare does a shitty job policing for fraud, their fraud numbers *are* lower.

        It’s a phenomenon very much like what happens when I put the cookie tin in a corner of the kitchen were my brood can raid it without me being able to see them: the number of cookie thefts I detect drops. Oddly, the same batch of cookies that would last a week now lasts only 3 days. Clearly I need to stop subsidizing grownup breakfasts with eggs and instead spend those eggs to fix our cookie shortage.

        1. Nice parallel.

        2. You have no right to elucidate complexities above the average journalist’s head! How un-Democratic of you!

      3. Medicare offloads a ton of administrative costs to other parts of the government.

    3. Salon readers are probably dumb enough to believe that massive government programs have lower administrative costs and waste.

      1. well, of course. They are Salon readers.

        1. Ask them if they believe this of the DoD….ha!

        2. Somebody here is obviously a Salon reader; it would be impolite to point and laugh, since he wears an iron mask and carries around a big target pistol in a nice case.

          1. I keep the shields all the way up, and wear a bio-hazard suit… this kind of derp is radioactive.

    4. ” And those private companies have much higher levels of administrative costs, fraud and general waste than Medicare does. Another difference is that the government would be negotiating drug prices, making drugs more affordable for everyone.”

      Liars are going to lie, but goddamn, that is some happy horseshit right there.

      1. Liars are going to lie…

        Amherst Professor…what more need be said?

    5. Why are monopolies and monopsonies bad in the private sector and the ideal when run by government?

        1. They answer to the voter… *snort*

    6. So $10 trillion is OK where $15 is not?

      Why not just spend $5 trillion if that’s what spending $15 trillion gets you?

    7. So socialism will lower costs and increase quality while bureaucrats will operate the industry at peak efficiency and will be negotiating deals to bring life-saving products to consumers.

      THAT IS AMAZING that someone would actually think any of that is true.

      1. It’s a 5 year plan. You just have to bear with it.

        The ‘it’ in that sentence being likely starvation and death.

    8. How does one professor saying something classify it as being debunked or something?

      1. Because the science is settled. The debate is over.

    9. Just to be clear, we’re arguing about whether his NEW programs will cost a) all the tax revenue the US government will recieve during his presidency OR one entire year of US GDP.

  10. “You have to ask yourself, at some point, what is the goal of the Republican leadership in the House and the Senate?” Durbin said.

    To — dare I say it? — *rule the world!*?

    1. Re-election, same as you, Durbin.

      1. You have to forgive Durbin – he is really kind of dim. He does understand retail level politics – fix Granny’s Social Security check problems, etc – but anything beyond that is simply “TEAM WANT WUT?”. If Harry Reid told him to disembowel himself live, on C-SPAN, he would be next seen trying to commit seppuku with a letter opener or a pen on the Senate floor.

    2. I would say the goal is to stop a lot of the foolish ideas from 1600 Penn from becoming the law of the land, although to be fair to Mr. Durbin, guys like Amash and Paul have wondered the same thing recently.

    3. Try to take over the world, Durbin, try to take over the world.

      Durbin: “Narf”

      1. Are you sure that Boehner and McConnell aren’t Pinky and the Brain? I mean, they’re just two mice trying to rule the world by doing nothing effective.

        1. I think there are a whole lot of Pinkys in congress, but not many Brains.

  11. And those private companies have much higher levels of administrative costs, fraud and general waste than Medicare does

    Really? REALLY??!!

    1. Sure. Just look at these charts.

        1. So, I realize this is not the point of those charts but, 700+ people died by getting entangled in their bedsheets in 2009?

          1. That’s why I sleep with one eye open.

          2. Klansmen get spooked easily in the dark.

            1. Can’t tell if racist or brilliant.

              1. I think it’s brilliant. If however, he had said “-by the dark.” THAT would have been racist.

  12. Elizabeth Warren demolishes the myth of ‘trickle-down’ economics: “That is going to destroy our country, unless we take our country back”

    Then Warren burst Colbert’s bubble:

    “Except the last part never worked. So, what trickle-down economics was all about was saying to the rich and powerful, the government will help you get richer and more powerful? So starting in 1980 when it was all about ‘fire the cops,’ it was called deregulation, cut taxes for those at the top, which means there was less to invest on education, on infrastructure, on basic research. So, what’s happened from 1980 to 2012 ? the answer is the 90 percent, everybody not the top ten percent, how much of the growth did they get? That GDP kept going up. How much of the income growth did they get? And the answer is zero! None. Not a bit.”

    At this point, the audience was dead silent. Warren continued:

    “One hundred percent of income growth in this country since the 1980s has gone to the top ten percent and that’s not only wrong, that is going to destroy our country unless we take our country back!”

    1. So, both the GOP and the Dems want to “take our country back”?

      Doesn’t that mean we’re on the right track?

      1. They want to take the country back alright…to the days of FDR.

      2. Wait, I was told “take our country back” was racist-dog-whistle speech.

    2. So, what trickle-down economics was all about was saying to the rich and powerful, the government will help you get richer and more powerful

      This from the lady who supports all kinds of corporate welfare, including the biggest of them all: the Federal Reserve.

      1. SSHHHH. You’re supposed to listen to what she says, no watch what she does.

    3. Uh, no. Everyone across the entire economic spectrum is vastly more wealthy today than they were in 1980.

      Fauxcahontas tell big whopper.

      1. Yep. In 1980 my parents had one old school TV, no remote, and the first VCR they had, the next year, had a wired remote. No cell phones for either until 1989 (dad had a PCS brick for work, think it had a PTT feature). They did have two cars, a VW bus, and a 1979 Civic. But they didn’t have a house, rented an apartment, and weren’t even married yet. OTOH, they lived in SoCal, and right down the road was the best donuts in the world (VG’s in Cardiff by the Sea), and an amazing tacquito stand. Seriously, the food is my favorite part of visiting the grandfather.

    4. How much did the cost of employing someone go up in response to healthcare and other government taxes mandates while income supposedly remained stagnant?

    5. I need to get Reasonable so I can block you and not see all this Salon derp. It’s too depressing.

      1. not all my derp is Salon derp.

        1. but to live is to derp. To derp is to live.

          1. Derp is the mind killer…

    6. When I started working in 1982 the minimum wage was $3.35. I make more than that today, so I don’t think the 100% claim she is making is true.

      I can’t believe things were so tough in 1983 that a dumb kid like me was in the top 10%.

    7. I almost tripped over a peasant this morning so this must be true.

    8. “One hundred percent of income growth in this country since the 1980s has gone to the top ten percent and that’s not only wrong, that is going to destroy our country unless we take our country back!”

      Total. Bullshit.

    9. At this point, the audience was dead silent.

      Perhaps because, going by the transcript, she was rambling and incoherent?

      And “burst Colbert’s bubble”? Are we to believe Colbert was some Reaganite before this?

      1. Adding to this, I wish I was part of that audience, so I could laugh as loudly as possible as she tells this bullshit. I would love to see something like that on TV.

  13. Treat meat eaters like smokers, warns Jeremy Corbyn’s new vegan farming minister Kerry McCarthy

    In an interview with Viva!life, a magazine for vegans, she admitted she was a “militant” when it came to clamping down on meat consumption.

    She said: “I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco, with public campaigns to stop people eating it.

    “Progress on animal welfare is being made at EU level… but in the end it comes down to not eating meat or dairy.

    “The constant challenging of the environmental impact of livestock farming is making me more and more militant.”

    coming soon to a government or company near you…

    1. You know who else was made more and more militant?

      1. The poli-

        *furvie movement!* *Blam* *Blam* *Blam*

        1. Well, I was thinking of the Furries, but that’s close enough.

      2. Feminists?

    2. If British Labour runs on a Corbyn platform at the next election, it’s possible they could become irrelevant for a generation.

    3. Good luck with that.

    4. “Vegan farming minister” – you can’t make this stuff up.

    5. Lunatics running the asylum

      1. It has been a awhile since the Brits have axed their ministers. It may be time to revive the tradition.

    6. “I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco…”

      $12 Bucks a pack and you can’t get caught with it in a hotel room. Oh, I thought she said street meat.

      1. Somebody getting strangled in NYC by USDA enforcers for selling an unregulated slim jim?

  14. Liberals Are Done Debating

    Conservatives might be ethically compromised, uninformed, or?if liberals are in a generous mood?mentally unstable, but they can’t be for real. At least, that’s the sense I increasingly get from the Left these days. Blame it on social media.

    When a group confuses its politics with moral doctrine, it may have trouble comprehending how a decent human could disagree with its positions. This is probably why people confuse lecturing with debating and why so many liberals can bore into the deepest nooks of my soul to ferret out all those motivations but can’t waste any time arguing about the issue itself.

    Are you also corrupt? Probably. Bought off by Big Oil, Big Food, or Big Somethingorother? Washington is teeming with Manchurian candidates, because no one could possibly be this malicious on his own. Why should liberals debate a point when they can debate your imaginary Sugar Daddy? Why else would conservatives “hate workers”? Why would they “bet against America”? Why do they want to destroy democracy? Why would conservatives vote against their own interests? Someone pays them to lie.

    1. when they begin debating?

    2. why so many liberals can bore into the deepest nooks of my soul to ferret out all those motivations

      It ain’t just liberals.

      *notes missing HNR commenter*

      1. The science is settled.

      2. John? I haven’t seen him in like, forever.

    3. That a shame since I just earned a masters debating.

      1. And here I thought your hands were idle.

    4. I actually had a decent talk with a liberal this week. She’s a dyed in the wool liberal, and has been active in local politics for ages. And I used to work for her, and she knew I supported Amash, etc.

      We had lunch, and our political talk was more about the debates, and possible candidates. Which was how we handled it when we worked together. We could “talk” politics, as long as it wasn’t about actual party ideas. Because at that point it probably would have turned into her calling me nuts, or something else. And she knows I’m not nuts, not truly, but I must be if I support these ideas.

      She also said “I’d rather pay my taxes before I pay anything else” while we were eating. Well, me too, but for entirely different reasons. I pay the IRS (quarterly, thank you very much) so that I won’t be bled dry when my taxes are filed, and also because I would rather make that problem go away. She pays taxes because she thinks it’s a good idea to support what the government supports, end of story.

      1. “…I used to work for her…”

        I too have had a few morons for bosses.

      2. People like her drag you along on their “charitable giving” at gunpoint.

  15. If you look at Planned Parenthood’s statistics you’ll see that is provides services to many more women than men. I declare that this is clear evidence of gender-based discrimination and the organization should therefore be deprived of federal funding. Who’s with me?

    1. That only works in one direction. And that ain’t it.

    2. Oh, they may not be direct, but it provides plenty of services to men.

      I’m going to say that they should be defunded because people should pay for their own damn birth control and abortions. Or be helped by voluntary charity.

      1. ^^This. Of course it’s never going to happen, because WOMYN’S HEALTH!!1!!!!

  16. For at least the past two years, France and the United States have been #1 and #2 in terms of number of international tourists.

    My problem is I’m having a hard time figuring out why anyone with enough disposable income to visit another country would willingly choose one of those two.

    1. I visited Sequoia National Forest once – absolutely beautiful, I highly recommend. There were more international tourists than Americans there which surprised me.

    2. Must include renditions.

      1. I don’t think we kidnap enough people to get the number of persons visiting that high.

        1. You’re right. We usually only kidnap *ahem war on drugs* our own citizens.

        2. Even if we did it wouldn’t matter since we don’t bring them here.

          It probably does help Cuba’s tourism numbers however

    3. Because the United States is the worst country, except for all the others?

      As for Frogland, that is a bit of a mystery to me as well.

      1. They do have good food.

        You go to England to see the history, The Netherlands to party, and France for the food

        1. France has some pretty nice history too. I was in Lyon for work earlier this summer and saw some really cool Roman theaters.

          1. I enjoyed myself in France quite a bit.

            1. So how is the hotel pay-per-view in France?

        2. Call me a Italo-chauvinist, but Italy has both the history and the food. I can’t see how anyone would think otherwise.

          On UNESCO sites alone there’s more to see.

          And Italy offers far more cultural history than England.

          1. Most of Europe is loaded with history. I’ve never been to Italy, but I’d like to. I’m partial to Spain, but I have some personal connections there which probably helps. And they have some damn fine food, including the best ham in the world (sorry Iberico is way better than Prosciutto, which is also an excellent product).

          2. Turkey has an insane amount of history and ruins of several cultures/empires. Food’s good, too.

    4. What do you mean? America is a beautiful country, of course people should visit to see things they can’t see anywhere else in the world. The Grand Canyon, Big Sur, Yosemite, etc.

      The only consideration I would take when visiting another country is if it’s safe for tourists, i.e. I’m not likely to get robbed, kidnapped or murdered.

      1. NYC is lousy with tourists too. Probably double the amount as before 9/11.

        As for safety, I was mugged on my 2nd day in Paris. Admittedly I wasn’t very street smart back then, being a small-town rube and all.

        1. Did the Frenchman threaten to smash a baguette over your head or something?

          I kid, as being mugged is probably not fun.

          1. Nah, the old finger in the pocket gun trick. This being Paris, it was inevitable that he wanted me to go home with him too.

            1. I would have thought they’d use real guns, don’t they have several old ones available?

              Craigslist ad: For sale, French military rifle. Never fired. Dropped once.

              1. Could have been a real gun. I’ll never know.

    5. If you’re not from the US, there’s still a massive fascination with the place. A lot of people see it as so different to the rest of the world that they want to visit at least once. As others have noted, there are beautiful natural sites but there is this kind of “I need to see that in real life” kind of quality.

      I still remember the first time I went to Manhattan and turned the corner and saw the top of the Empire State Building. And that was 25ya.

    6. I’m kind of surprised so many come to the US, because it’s a big pain in the ass. But there is a lot of neat stuff. A lot of foreigners seem to come to visit Florida, which confuses me a bit (sorry Florida friends).

      France is very nice if you don’t have to live there, and it’s not all Paris. There are European countries I’d prefer to visit, but it’s got a lot of nice stuff if you are a tourist.

      1. Natural Florida is incredibly beautiful IMO. Flatwoods and reefs and mangrove forests, oh my. I’ll never leave.

    7. Those stats can be misleading according to travel experts I spoke to at a convention. Those measure arrivals not necessarily for ‘tourism’ per se.

      The best measure is tour packages.

      When this is done, Italy comes out on top by far followed by France, and the U.S.

    8. The US is not surprising at all*. France is beautiful and has the ‘romantic’ vibe that probably lets it edge out a country like Italy.

      *But I grew up in Hawaii, so I’m under the impression that everyone in Asia that can afford to travel will come to the US.

  17. Death and transfiguration
    The golden age of the Western corporation may be coming to an end

    Yet the men and women from McKinsey change gear as quickly as Gibbon. The golden age of the Western corporation, they argue, was the product of two benign developments: the globalisation of markets and, as a result, the reduction of costs. The global labour force has expanded by some 1.2 billion since 1980, with the new workers largely coming from emerging economies. Corporate-tax rates across the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries, have fallen by as much as half in that period. And the price of most commodities is down in real terms.

    Now a more difficult era is beginning. More than twice as many multinationals are operating today as in 1990, making for more competition. Margins are being squeezed and the volatility of profits is growing. The average variance in returns to capital for North American firms is more than 60% higher today than it was in 1965-1980. MGI predicts that corporate profits may fall from 10% of global GDP to about 8% in a decade’s time.

    1. You killed and/or transfigured the link.

    2. There are days I walk into the lobby or cafeteria and see a pack of McKinsey guys. “Oh shit, they’re here to fuck something else up” is always the general reaction.

      1. They are a running joke around here… “hey, why don’t we just have McKinsey look at this…ha ha ha!”

        1. Instead of spending a half $ million to fix the problem, we’ll spend it on a McKinsey PowerPoint about the problem.

          1. McKinsey’s claim-to-fame at this point is “we cost more than A.T. Kearney or Boston Consulting”

  18. The Daily Mail doesn’t understand satire:

    Controversial South Park episode shows Donald Trump being raped and murdered: Show attacks tycoon’s run for President, his immigration policies and then kills him off in shocking final scene

    Donald Trump was on the receiving end of a vicious take-down by South Park on Wednesday evening, which skirted the borders of decency and taste and arguably crossed them.

    In an almost unprecedented attack on a running presidential candidate, the adult cartoon lampooned the Republican and in a shocking finale, showed the billionaire businessman being brutally raped to death.

    The inflammatory episode of the satirical cartoon, created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, was supposed to attack Trump’s immigration policies and mocked his oft-repeated promise to build a wall between the US and Mexico.

    1. And the comments:

      This is how disgusting progressives are. Raping someone to death is no laughing matter. The creators of this sorry waste of air time should go and get themselves a brain.

      Wow! This is how much the leftists don’t want Trump to be Prsident! Really too much. First the Pope conspiring with Obama’s plan to reframe illegals, followed by Southpark’s vicious attack on Donald Trump. It’s quite a disgraceful display toward the American people who already give so much to charities around the world and who work so hard for their country.

      Let’s see, Donald can’t say about a women’s face, ” Imagine seeing that every day”, but this show can show him raped and murdered? Now just for a moment imagine if the character getting raped and murdered, was Megyn Kelly.

      1. WHYCOME SOUTHPARK NO LOVE TRUMP?!?

      2. Let’s see, Donald can’t say about a women’s face, ” Imagine seeing that every day”, but this show can show him raped and murdered? Now just for a moment imagine if the character getting raped and murdered, was Megyn Kelly.

        Could it be because…Parker and Stone aren’t running for president?

        1. because…Parker and Stone are progressives?

          My head did not explode, but I may have had a minor anyeurism. Does anyone else smell almonds?

      3. The fact that anyone thinks South Park is run by leftists is hilarious. Trey Parker said he used to go to parties in Hollywood and open conversations by saying ‘I love George Bush and I love my guns’ just to fuck with people.

        1. If I had to characterize Parker and Stone politically, I would say that they are contrarian bomb throwers first, libertarian-ish second. I think their primary objective is to gore as many sacred cows as possible.

    2. I’ll have to watch that! How fun!

      1. Right? I missed it.

        So Matt and Trey are progressive leftists now? Trump has really made people delusional.

    3. I was going to pick a few bits from that quote as evidence that the author has never watched Southpark before and doesn’t understand the show at all, but every word of it does so.

      1. That actually made me laugh just reading it.

    4. what if South Park has run a similar episode with either Hillary or Bernie as the target? I suspect you wouldn’t be reading about it in The Daily Mail, it would be front-page fodder here, too. While it would still be satire, there is still the principles vs principals nature of things in play.

    5. It was a pretty good episode. But my question is: if rape jokes are never funny shouldn’t all the anti-rape activists be up in arms about such a prominent show making a violent rape a key plot point?

      I’m wondering if Matt and Trey are deliberating baiting the PC people on this in addition to skewering the Trumpaloes.

      1. It’s male rape. They don’t care about male rape. Even though when we factor in the prison system, and I don’t know why we wouldn’t, men are raped more in the US than women are.

      2. I just checked the AV Club and the episode got an A-. I’m interested in how the squishy, concerned viewers and commentariat there deal with celebrating a rape joke targeted at someone they hate.

    6. There right it is clearly hate speech.

  19. * Are we headed for another government shutdown?



    One can only hope.

    1. Except the government never really shuts down, they just discontinue some ‘services’ and shut national parks to be as annoying as possible. But leviathan keeps on going.

      1. A lot of government employees get paid vacations.

  20. I’ve been reading an old PJ O’Rourke book – Eat the Rich. It’s from the 90s – hello, Clinton jokes! – but, with some minor editing, it should be a high school primer on economics.

    In the book he visits Albania, Sweden, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Shanghai, etc and compares/contrasts the economic (and political) differences.

    Hong Kong was the most interesting – how, under British rule, the government pretty much opened up the markets and viola – prosperity.

  21. Ugh. I guess the child welfare fucks were too busy hassling kids from normal homes walking to the park to help this kid.

    Police found the 2-year-old boy sleeping just a few feet away from a syringe full of heroin. The five adults with him inside a Bloomington motel room on Sept. 16 had turned it into a drug den. One of them was the boy’s mother, Cynthia Kiewatt, who since May had been sought by child protection workers who feared she would harm the child.

    Kiewatt, 43, was arrested and charged with child endangerment. Bloomington police then heeded the mother’s request to turn the boy over to a family friend, records show. The same day, the child was passed along to two other people.

    Look, standard disclaimer that I don’t think drugs or prostitution should be illegal, but this woman definitely shouldn’t be a mother.

    1. The child welfare fucks go after the easy marks. Taking care to track and protect a kid like this takes too much actual work.

    2. There’s a good parallel with police. Going after truly bad people – murderers, rapists, armed robbers, and horribly negligent and abusive parents — is hard. It takes a lot of work, you deal with some truly horrible people, and it grinds on you. Going after drug possession and going after parents for letting their kids walk to the park is easy.

  22. So, what’s the relative risk between the hajj and, say, handling snakes?

    1. Which relative are we talking here? Spouse or sibling?

    2. Well, that depends – what type of snakes? There’s a big difference between Corn Snakes and Albino King Cobras

    3. Handling snakes is voluntary, the hajj is a religious direction, like fasting during Ramadan.

      Both based on nonsense, of course.

      1. I’m gonna go ahead and revoke your Kentucky citizenship for blasphemy.

        1. I’ve had to suffer through a Pentecostal funeral. I’ve paid my dues. (No snakes at least, but a lot of fainting and speaking–or screaming–in tongues.)

          1. My father’s family was from the Jenkins area (Virginia side of the border). There was no shortage of snake handlers around there.

            Now it’s all meth heads.

      2. Some enterprising imam should proclaim that a VR hajj is as good as the real thing, and set up some 3d video cameras there.

        Course, there’s no telling how many avatars would die in the subsequent DDOS.

  23. Doctors Find Tapeworms Inside Woman’s Brain After She Complained of Headaches

    “Given her age? and her profile, I thought it might (be) a tumor,” said Dr. Richard Meyrat, a neurosurgeon for Methodist Health System.

    But after an infectious disease specialist at Methodist Dallas Medical Center consulted about the case recommended operating, surgeons found the cause of their patient’s pain was far less common.

    “Once in surgery, we found between six and eight sacs of larvae and removed them immediately,” Meyrat said, noting the worms were found behind the woman’s brain stem.

    The woman likely contracted the painful parasites? which caused her to begin to lose her sight? during a trip to visit family in Mexico two years earlier, where she may have eaten food contaminated with fecal matter, Meyrat said.

    Warning: Autostart video

    1. I remember that episode of House.

    2. Eewww!!

    3. If the greenies ever realize their dream this kind of shit won’t be so uncommon.

      1. Tapeworms are organic!

    4. I’m suddenly itchy all over.

  24. Boyfriend dumped after stealing OTHER women’s knickers to give to girlfriend

    But without any cash, he had decided to target neighbours’ washing lines at his home in the city of Foshan, in south China’s Guangdong Province.

    He was caught when one of his victims, Li Shen, complained to police that one of his wife’s bras had been stolen when it had been left out to dry on the balcony.

    Authorities checked security cameras from Li’s building and discovered that an unknown man had climbed the stairs and rummaged through the couple’s laundry on the rooftop.

  25. “We have a stampede accident in Mina, and civil defense is dealing with it,” said Brig. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, an Interior Ministry spokesman.

    Stampede collision.

  26. Heard the pope talking in English yesterday.

    He sounded like a fucking moron. And not because it’s his second language. I’ve known many immigrants over the years that spoke English worse than him, but were still more intelligible and intelligent sounding.

    SO WTF is this guy more than a little slow or what ? It’s go a long way in explaining his commie sympathies and buying into the AGW cult.

    1. You just answered your own question. Also see: Obumbles.

    2. He actually is a moron. I mean that sincerely. Go look up the transcripts of speeches he gives to crowds in Spanish countries, speaking his native language. Everything he says is the sort of mindless pablum I’d expect from a mediocre 19 year old.

      He is one of the least intelligent people to have an international standing within politics, which isn’t too surprising given that he was chosen by fucking Cardinals in a thousand year old religious ceremony. The Pope’s a glorified witch doctor.

    3. My grandson says, “Why does the pope sound like Dracula?”

      When I was done laughing, I told him it’s because they’re both in the same line of work.

  27. I’m going to go watch the Rugby World Cup. Japan beating SA made my week. You all have a good day.

    1. Probably the biggest upset in rugby history.

    2. Damn, go Japan. I have to check this out.

      1. They came back to Earth in the second half against Scotland.

  28. Race traitor

    Since Carson used his 2013 speech at the National Prayer Breakfast to criticize President Obama’s policies to his face, he has been lionized in conservative quarters.

    It’s not that others have not criticized the president before or since, but it was the particularity of the racial imagery of Carson’s critique ? one smart, accomplished black man undressing another in public ? that gave it particular power. It insulated the attack from racial characterization. He said things from the lips of a black conservative that roiled the minds of white ones. And it represented a prominent breaking of ranks, a slicing off of black solidarity from not only Democratic loyalty but also from fidelity with this president.

    Since then, Carson’s rhetoric has seemed to get only more reckless.

    He has called Obama a psychopath and a liar. He has compared Obama’s supporters to Nazi sympathizers. He has said that Obamacare is the “worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” even worse than the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

    Carson’s inauthentic blackness is a blight on America.

    1. It insulated the attack from racial characterization

      That’s the real offense. Particularly to someone likes Charles Blow, who paints everything in shades of skin color.

      1. Almanian’s Rule Number Something – “Never, ever read anything by Charles Blow”

        And I don’t.

        Racist, I know…

    2. one smart, accomplished black man undressing another in public

      The phrase is “dressing down,” dipwad.

      1. unless it’s black on black gay pron

        1. Go on……

          …FOR FRIEND….of course…

    3. Imagine the hair tearing, shirt rending and teeth gnashing that will ensue if Carson were to get elected. The left would lose it’s collective mind. There isn’t enough popcorn in the world.

  29. More:
    Carson knows that his outrageous antics in his role as the anti-Obama are a most profitable enterprise. He mixes political critique with Christian theological messaging to rake in quite a bit of money on the lecture circuit. As Politico reported in July, Carson “brought in nearly $2 million delivering inspirational speeches to faith-based groups like Christian high schools and pregnancy centers in 2014,” with speaking fees ranging “from $12,320 to $48,500.”

    This is a sad turn ? spurred, I believe, by profit motive ? for such a great legacy.

    Oh, the horror. Carson PROFITS from telling his audiences what they want to hear, and confirming their biases.
    Charles Blow, the noble mendicant who writes for the New York Times, would neve stoop so low.

    1. And the stockholders in Clinton, Inc also work for free, correct?

      1. LOOK, OVER THERE!

        RACISM AND SEXISM AND STUFF!!!!

    2. Goddamned house nigger Carson and his PROFITING from WHYTES – it’s too much for the Blowhard.

      Hey, Charles – why don’t you go perform brain surgery on yourself. With a sledgehammer.

    3. “This is a sad turn ? spurred, I believe, by profit motive ? for such a great legacy.”

      What about The Goracle? The Hildebeast? I suspect that it is ok for them because they are spreading the good word.

    4. But for Blow, it’s not a step down from a previous career of actually doing good stuff.

  30. UN ‘leaders’ meet to demand unicorns for all!:

    “No poverty, hunger in 15 years? UN sets sweeping new goals”
    […]
    “”Let’s be realistic about this. This is about survival,” said Susan Brown of the WWF International. “We actually don’t have another choice. We are expanding into our natural resources at a rate which is not sustainable. And I don’t want to think about what the end-game looks like in 15 years if we don’t get this right.”
    The goals are estimated to cost the world between $3.5 trillion and $5 trillion a year between 2016 and the end of 2030.”
    http://www.morganton.com/news/…..eec37.html

    Yeah, let’s be ‘realistic’ about this, since it’s the next, absolute, last chance we have until the next UN bull-session.

    1. “And I don’t want to think about what the end-game looks like in 15 years if we don’t get this right.”

      Sounds like she was right on the edge of making a wide-eyed, bullshit prediction that would disappear down the memory hole in 15 years.

  31. Hmmm, you want to eliminate poverty and hunger in just 15 years AND you worry about the rate we consume resources being unsustainable?

    Hmm, I know a guy who has a solution for that, some might even call it a final solution

  32. Secular Muslim accurately points out that many Muslims do not support secularism or the separation of religion and state.

    I assume leftist Islam apologists will be around shortly to condemn her as a porch monkey race traitor like they did with Maajid Nawaz.

    1. If you believe what’s in the Koran and Hadiths, there’s not much wiggle room. It’s far less ambiguous than the Torah or New Testament – and seems to be written by somebody completely insane. (I read it in the desert in 1990 while waiting for a war to kick-off)

      1. I’ve read both the Koran and Bukhari’s Hadith and they’re pretty explicitly in favor of religious government in a way I don’t think the New Testament really is. There are a lot of Muslims who don’t really take the faith seriously enough to get into all that, but they’re still nominally Muslims. Those tend to be the people you should try not to insult needlessly because they aren’t really doing anything and are just culturally Muslim without taking the bad aspects of the faith seriously.

        Unfortunately, I do think really observant Muslims are always going to have a conflict with secularism and free societies, to a larger extent than similarly observant Christians.

        1. “Unfortunately, I do think really observant Muslims are always going to have a conflict with secularism and free societies, to a larger extent than similarly observant Christians.”

          We used to say the same thing about Catholics.

          Modern separation of church and state is Protestant thing. It started with Martin Luther’s “two kingdoms”.

          “James Madison, the principal author of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, explicitly credited Martin Luther as the theorist who “led the way” in providing the proper distinction between the civil and the ecclesiastical spheres.[10]”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Two_kingdoms_doctrine #Response_and_influence

          1. You can read the Bible and come to a reasonable conclusion that there’s the kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Earth and that there can be a separation between temporal and ecclesiastical power.

            I challenge you to cherry-pick the Koran and come to the same conclusion.

            1. I’ve read the Quran–tough read! And it’s explicitly against the separation of church and state.

              I’ll grant you that.

              Still, I don’t think there is any principle in there that hasn’t been openly violated for practical reasons at some point in time–including the oneness of God and prohibitions against idolatry.

              Catholics did that, too. They even rewrote the Ten Commandments when it suited their purposes to do so.

              That being said, the Quran is not conducive to the separation of church and state.

              The Bible is, and the tradition of Protestantism supports it, and yet there the Baptists are all up in our business.

              There’s a lot more to it than just what any given document says.

          2. “”James Madison, the principal author of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, explicitly credited Martin Luther as the theorist who “led the way” in providing the proper distinction between the civil and the ecclesiastical spheres.[10]””

            Yeah. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto god what is god’s, said no one ever.

            Oh, wait…

  33. “The Pope will address Congress today.”

    The Beast of Revelation 13 is the Pope.

    I’m just sayin’.

    It’s so obviously the Pope that scholars date the authorship of Revelation to sometime after there was a bishop in Rome.

  34. WAR ON WIMMINZ

    Abortions are a small part of Planned Parenthood’s services and tissue donation a very small part. No federal money is spent on abortions at Planned Parenthood; most of its services are for contraception, health screenings, pregnancy tests and prenatal care for low-income women.

    The Republican obsession with the group seems to come to this: denying women, especially poor women, the health care they need; pandering for primary votes among Tea Party regulars; and obstructing the budget process and the smooth functioning of government. Quite a record.

    OMFG not that! Not my smoothly functioning government!
    Monsters, I say!

    1. Denying women the healthcare they need because planned parenthood is the only source for that.

  35. A BAD MAN

    Martin Shkreli is health care’s Gordon Gekko, its wolf of Wall Street, the symbol of all that makes people uneasy about an industry that seeks to make money by selling treatments while vowing to care only about the well-being of vulnerable patients.

    ——–=

    Shkreli’s actions were shocking for a simple reason: It was an unusual moment of complete transparency in health care, where motives, prices and how the system works are rarely ever talked about so nakedly. Shkreli’s company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of Daraprim from $18 to $750 per pill because he could.

    Actually not a bad article.

    1. No mention of the role the FDA plays in artificially creating scarcity.

    2. I am guessing there is no consideration given to the realities of chemistry or how costs are spread out for different drugs.

      1. Very few understand chemistry, especially organic. To make a particular molecule you will need reactants. Think of them as ingredients to make an end product. Most often the ingredients themselves must be made, requiring ingredients to make them, and there may be any number of given steps like this to get your desired product. In any given organic reaction there are multiple products and maybe the one you need is only produced as a small percentage of the end products. To produce a single gram of a desired molecule may require huge quantities of basic materials with the vast majority ending up as waste. This is why some drugs cost insane amounts of money per pill.

      2. Drug companies can subsidize the cost of more expensive drugs by tacking that cost onto cheaper drugs. This way your chemo treatments cost 10,000 each instead of 100,000.

      I don’t know if or how much either of these factors come into play here but when I see drug company execs turned into parodies like this by people who have no clue how things work I get very suspicious.

      1. Oh, also what Lee G said above me.

      2. I suspect in this case, it’s a less “business is complicated” and a lot more “narcissistic amoral rent-seeking asshole”

    3. I think I saw that guy on hotchickswithdouchebags.

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