Snow Expected for Iowa Caucuses, Iran Awards Medals Over Captured US Soldiers, Israel Permits Non-Orthodox Jews to Pray at Western Wall: A.M. Links

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  • Ilirjan Rrumbullaku

    Snow is expected tonight for the Iowa caucuses.

  • Super PACs in support of Jeb Bush raised a lot less money in the last quarter of 2015.
  • Thousands of people in San Diego were without power and at least one person is dead after a Pacific storm hit southern California.
  • ISIS claimed responsibility for bombings in Damascus that killed at least 45 while John Kerry was in Geneva calling for peace in Syria. Meanwhile in Kabul, at least nine people were killed in a suicide bombing.
  • Iran awarded medals to the navy commanders responsible for capturing U.S. sailors who strayed into its territorial waters last month.
  • Burma's newly elected parliament convened for the first time, with former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi heading the largest party.
  • The government of Israel will open up the Western Wall to prayer by non-Orthodox Jews.

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  1. Snow is expected tonight for the Iowa caucuses.

    Snowden. That would be awesome if it was that. Right?

    1. Hello.

    2. So Trump will get to blame the snow when he doesn’t win tonight?

      “Everyone knows Iowa is full of lazy bums.”

      1. “when he doesn’t win”

        Whatchu talkin’ bout Willis?

        1. A fella can hope, right?

          1. Hope and Change

    3. In all seriousness a big snow for the caucuses will only help Rand. He has the zealous followers who will go out in the weather. I don’t see that kind of dedication for Rubio or Cruz. Maybe some trumpys but this could be better for Rand on the whole.

      1. Woohoo! Maybe he can get 2% instead of 1%!

      2. As of 9:50 PM, Paul is around 5th place with 4%. Christie, whom some thought would improve his standing, is floundering. Carson is surprisingly resilient, probably carried by more socons. Cruz leads but it’s close.

  2. 141) An interesting article today in the Washington Post about recent studies showing that loneliness impacts the human immune system. Makes sense to me; we’re social animals. But good Lord, collectivizers can’t stop collectivizin’:

    “Many researchers believe the United States is not doing enough to address loneliness as a public health issue. For inspiration, they point to the United Kingdom. Begun in 2011, its national Campaign to End Loneliness involves five social-service agencies and about 2,500 smaller organizations, all working to raise people’s awareness of loneliness.”

    Too bad for all the misanthropes, loners, and brooders (not that there are any here): The days are coming when “leave me alone” and “mind your own business” will be meaningless.

    1. EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO A COMPANION. FAIR FRIENDSHIP NOW!

      1. Guardiola to take over at Man City in June:

        http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/35461090

        1. That should be interesting.

        2. Not a huge surprise but as a Man Utd fan I had been hoping he’d dump that bitch and ride away with us on the back of a unicorn into a rainbow sunset

        3. Overrated. It will be Mourinho’s most recent experience at Chelsea all over again.

          1. Overrated.

            Who knows. When you’re consistently given the best players in the world to work with it’s kind of hard to fuck it up.

            Mourinho is only out because something happened in the locker room and the players turned against him.

            1. Which is why I think Pep is overrated from his Barca days. I likely could’ve coached that team to at least one CL championship, and I’m a dog.

              Heynckes gave him the best team in the world at Bayern and he has failed to impress in the CL. Injuries didn’t help him, but his personnel changes didn’t help him either. It just seems ridiculous to anoint some of these guys as some sort of prodigy when they win with a team that *should* win. Plus I have an irrational hatred of Barca.

              1. And Pep seems like a prickly person to work with. I can easily imagine the massive egos at Man City giving him trouble just like seems to be happening at Munich.

                1. If only Balotelli were still around…

                  1. Him and AC Milan were made for each other – it was inevitable he would be back.

                    (I hate AC Milan)

      2. I don’t want one of those cheapass government ‘friends’ that keeps mooching off of me!

        1. Even worse? They’ll pester you about your “food choices” and smoking/drinking/gambling.

      3. They can come here and be berated. That should make them feel better.

        1. “We care enough to complain!”

    2. Oh, they won’t be meaningless, they will be considerd a mental illness requiring ‘treatment’.

      1. No longer will introspection be stigmatized. Libertarianism, OTOH ?.

      2. Antisocial people tend to become serial killers, so anyone who isn’t sufficiently social must be locked up in the name of public safety.

        1. A lot of the famous serial killers were actually married with children. And they used that marriage as a cover to escape scrutiny by the police. Maybe we should ban marriage…you know, FOR THE CHILDREN!!!!!

          1. Now, *that* is common sense gun control!

            1. Common sense gun control is when I wear a long sleeve shirt.

          2. Never let stupid facts get in the way of narrative.

      3. ” The days are coming when “leave me alone” and “mind your own business” will be criminal hate speech

    3. You think these people would just start talking to their neighbors. Not the lonely folks, but the ones that want to help. This is one of those things where it is a thousand times easier to solve on an individual level than to pass a law on.

      1. Those people just understand that they can do much more good by forcing others to be friendly than they could ever accomplish by being friendly themselves.

      2. My mom lives in a smallish town in easter CO where a lot of the younger folks have moved to bigger cities. As a result there are a lot of widowers. I know it’s a shock, but their local rotary club regularly holds functions and signs up volunteers to go visit with those people.

        If the city were a bit bigger, I have no doubt that they would find some money to waste on paying people for such a service. That is yet one more problem with government. People feel like the government should do things, so they cannot waste a minute in their precious lives to do things for their community.

        1. That is something that churches and social clubs cover very well. If you are a lonely shut-in, you can find someone to come visit you.

      3. Yeah, but how can we stimulate the economy by hiring more people if we go your route?

    4. national Campaign to End Loneliness involves five social-service agencies and about 2,500 smaller organizations, all working to raise people’s awareness of loneliness.

      There are no words.

      1. Good thing we’ve got this blank check. That should cover the price of any number of words.

      2. Rufus: I’m not lonely.
        CTE: Come on. Everyone is lonely.
        Rufus (bites into maple leaf cookie): No, really. I’m good.
        CTE: Listen, the quicker you admit to being lonely, the quicker you can sign this form stipulating ‘Type-Org 3’ will be your companion. For life! Isn’t it grand? Aren’t we swell?
        Rufus: But I don’t want a companion! I have a cat!

        1. Rufus: But I don’t want a companion! I have a cat!
          CTE: Adds “crazy cat person” to evaluation form.

          1. Rufus: “Sexbot? Now you’re talking!”

        2. I think that there are probably enough genuinely lonely people out there that those who genuinely want to be alone should be OK. For now.

    5. So the US needs to look like it’s “addressing” loneliness, by funding a few federal programs with loneliness in the names.

      And you’re far too optimistic. “Leave me alone” will be indicative of a mental defect, of course.

    6. So the Brits got all choked up listening to Eleanor Rigby and decided it would be a good basis for public policy.

  3. Super PACs in support of Jeb Bush raised a lot less money in the last quarter of 2015.

    Seems fiscally irresponsible on someone’s part.

    1. Never send good money after bad.

  4. Donald Trump Field Organizer Accuses Campaign of Sex Discrimination

    Elizabeth Mae Davidson, 26, who was the Trump campaign’s field organizer here in Davenport, Iowa’s third-largest city, said in a discrimination complaint that men doing the same jobs were paid more and were allowed to plan and speak at rallies, while her requests to do so were ignored. She also said that when she and a young female volunteer met Mr. Trump at a rally last summer, he told them, “You guys could do a lot of damage,” referring to their looks.

    The complaint was filed on Thursday with the Davenport Civil Rights Commission.

    In a telephone interview on Sunday, Mr. Trump denied making the remark but did not address the other two allegations.

    “That is not the worst thing that could be said,” Mr. Trump said. “But I never said it. It’s not in my vocabulary.”

    1. Wait a minute, he’s not denying paying men more, but he is denying making a flirtatious/sexist remark? Seems backwards.

      1. What’s the relative credentials of those employees?

        1. That doesn’t matter, because VAGINA, you cis shitlord!

      2. If past experience is any indication this should help his poll numbers.

        1. Only if he also calls her fat and stupid.

    2. She also said that when she and a young female volunteer met Mr. Trump at a rally last summer, he told them, “You guys could do a lot of damage,” referring to their looks.

      Does this mean my grandma/mom is sexually harassing me when they say I’m handsome?

      1. No, she’s just lying.

        1. Don’t you dare call nini a liar.

          1. Do you call your grandad pa-nini?

            1. *narrows gaze*

              /returns to work

            2. like the sandwich?

  5. Not one of my usual publications, and I don’t know how much of an accurate picture it paints, but none of it surprises me

    http://www.investors.com/polit…..our-money/

    1. I liked this line: “Sanders spent most of his life as an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything.”

      1. Just like everyone on the internet.

        1. But ForumTroll1024 isn’t running for president.

    2. The article omits Bernie’s management experience as mayor of a college town with a population of about 40,000.

      Huffington Post has a hagiography on his tenure as mayor.

  6. Snow is expected tonight for the Iowa caucuses.

    Snow, in the sense of bullshit.

  7. YouTube Personalities Use ‘Minecraft’ to Prey on Underage Fans

    Twelve-year-old Chantelle Wiseman started chatting with LionMaker in 2014, her mother Suzie told Motherboard. LionMaker and her daughter would trade messages when either of them was feeling down, chatting about their lives: “normal kid stuff,” she said.

    LionMaker might not be as well-known as the child-sexting rap star Tyga, but to hordes of teenagers, he’s a bona fide celebrity. Even the 52-year-old Wiseman didn’t think anything of it when he befriended her daugher. “He’s famous and so he’s almost safe. If he was maybe making some youngster’s dream come true, good on him, how sweet.”

    Then, on the night of June 12 last year, Suzie said LionMaker asked Chantelle to send him nude photos.

    As Suzie tells it, LionMaker first sent Chantelle Twitter direct messages, then asked the 12-year-old to Skype him privately and not tell anyone that he had messaged her.

    1. My god, if you can’t trust a stranger on the Internet who calls himself “LionMaker”, who CAN you trust?

    2. the 52-year-old Wiseman didn’t think anything of it when he befriended her daugher. “He’s famous and so he’s almost safe. If he was maybe making some youngster’s dream come true, good on him, how sweet.”

      “Yessir Mr Polanski. Janie’s in her bedroom. Why don’t you go say hi?”

      Gessus. The clueless dad lets this guy near his preteen daughter but it’s YouTube and Minecraft’s fault. Whatever happened to shotgun wielding fathers?

      1. They got caught up in a bureaucratic mess trying to buy the shotgun, then balked at taking out a second mortgage to afford ammo.

    3. “He’s famous and so he’s almost safe.”

      Not… not safe in that way, Ms. Wiseman.

      1. “He’s famous and so he’s almost safe.”

        Yes, Mrs Cosby Clinton.

  8. Iran awarded medals to the navy commanders responsible for capturing U.S. sailors who strayed into its territorial waters last month.

    Just like that time my TomTom made me stray into that guys fence. No medals were issued though, if I recall correctly.

    1. I still have seen no explanation as to how that actually could happen. Why were they 50 miles off course? Why didn’t the boat that was still working just tow the disabled boat? Why didn’t they radio their status to their command ship? If they did, why wasn’t help dispatched? Why did they just allow themselves to be boarded and surrender with no resistance? And why is the everyone so damn incurious about these things?

      1. And why have I apparently been possessed by the spirit of Andrew Napolitano?

        1. C I a-told you so.

      2. Nothing Obumbles does is above board. Nothing.

        I can only imagine the shit that will come out when he is out of office. I bet things are 100x worse than we imagine.

      3. And why is the everyone so damn incurious about these things?

        Because it doesn’t fit the right wing narrative. These damn foreigners keep insisting on locating their countries right next to where we send our patrol boats. It’s crazy.

        1. The left loves Obama, and believes he can do no wrong. The right in general and the neocons in particular love the idea of rattling sabres with Iran.

          They both love the military when a progressive is in office, and believe it can do no wrong.

      4. WTF, the only explanations that make any sense are:

        (1) Colossal incompetence by the Navy.

        (2) They were on some kind of insertion mission, and fucked it up. So, incompetence by the Navy, but on a high-risk mission, so not colossal. Probably. The only issue with this is, there don’t seem to have been any Seals on board.

        I guess there’s really only

        1. #2 is what I’m thinking. Maybe something other than inserting/extracting SEALs. Or who’s to say that the Iranians gave back all of our people?

          As WTF said upthread, there’s been some very incurious reporters on this story. The sailors were released but no follow up stories now either. I seem to remember a whole lot more when that three man patrol got captures by Serbia. Like post-release medal ceremonies.

      5. WTF, the only explanations that make any sense are:

        (1) Colossal incompetence by the Navy.

        (2) They were on some kind of insertion mission, and fucked it up. So, incompetence by the Navy, but on a high-risk mission, so not colossal. Probably. The only issue with this is, there don’t seem to have been any Seals on board.

        I guess there’s really only

        1. 1a. Caused by squirrels.

        2. (3) they already inserted Seal team?

          1. As a former 11 year active duty sea service sailor EVERYTHING reported about the American Sailors / Iran story is SUSPICIOUSLY WRONG regarding naval procedures. That leads me to believe that it was a PRODUCTION. Something like “Hey lookie here, these Shia types are not as bad as those Sunni types.”

            Anyone ever notice that Obama favors the Shia flavor of things?

            Why?

            What was Obama’s dad Shia or Sunni?

            p.s. I operated in the Persian Gulf onboard Ranger and Constellation.

  9. That’s some good prayin’ wall to the west there.

  10. Mum forced to sell cottage after being terrorised by a satanic GOAT

    Vanessa Mitchell, 43, was unaware the cottage ? called The Cage ? had a haunted past when she moved there in 2004.

    Since then she claims to have seen several ghostly figures and was mysteriously pushed over while pregnant.

    She was also smacked on the bottom and saw blood appear on a floor.

    Vanessa is now putting the house up for auction after an image of a sinisterlooking goat ? an animal some believe represents Satan ? was caught on a camera at the property.

    MILF or not?

    1. Well, she *was* smacked on the bottom.

    2. That “image of the goat” just looks like a smudge on the window.

      1. Satan works in mysterious ways.

      2. That “image of the goat” just looks like a smudge on the window.

        Bullshit. Those are genuine orbs. GENUINE.

      3. Look in the lower right. It looks like…ya know…an animal. I have satanic racoons, possums and coyotes outside my window each week. My kids have also fallen a lot recently. SATANIC CONSPIRACY.

        1. The enhanced smudge looks like some kind of emo gray alien.

          THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE!

    3. She looks sort of trampy.

      1. That’s how Satan likes ’em.

      2. I like trampy – up to a point.

      3. It’s the dark lip-liner look. That’s so 90s – 00s.

      4. Are you saying she was asking for it?

    4. “Vanessa, who works in sales…” has put the house up for auction. I like this broad.

    5. would.

      1. for a British women she is practically a supermodel.

    6. Every day and twice on Sunday.

      Plus, I listen to a lot of death metal, so I’d be more than happy to take the cottage off her hands.

    7. One of those goat images looks like Michael Jackson.

    8. Sure, I’d do that goat

  11. Snow is expected tonight for the Iowa caucuses.

    Snow is or Snowden? I wish the latter had the bigger impact on the caucuses.

    1. “You know nothing, Jon Snow!”

    1. Hard to tell the difference between Onion and Obama Administration these days.

  12. UK police arrest suspect with 38 phones in his trousers

    British police have arrested a suspected thief with 38 mobile phones stuffed down his trousers.

    West Midlands Police say they believe the man stole the phones from concertgoers at a show by band The Libertines in Birmingham, central England.

    The 30-year-old and a second man, who was also arrested, were spotted at the venue with their trousers taped closed at the bottom. Police were on the lookout after reports of phone thefts during an earlier Libertines gig in the northwest England city of Manchester.

    1. He probably did it for convenience.

      1. Hearty chuckle.

    2. “Can you hear me now?”

    3. Wow. Got him right after his birth second.

  13. Thousands of people in San Diego were without power and at least one person is dead after a Pacific storm hit southern California.

    Sounds like someone dropped the ball on storm regulations.

  14. Where else?

    Kalashnikov to open AK-47 factory in Florida

    American gun maker Kalashnikov USA is announcing plans to manufacture the famous AK-47 assault rifles in Florida. The company previously imported the weapons from the original manufacturer in Moscow.

    It began producing them in Pennsylvania last year when President Obama imposed sanctions against Russia after its annexation of Crimea. At that point, Kalashnikov USA severed all ties with the Russian company. Now, Pompano Beach has approved the assembly of guns in the city.

    Guns assembled at the Pompano Beach factory will have to be sold to retailers elsewhere.

    Kalashnikov USA launched new rifles and shotguns at a firearms conference in Las Vegas last week, including the high capacity magazines Alpha line. Genuine AK-47’s ? among the most popular assault rifles in the world ? have spiked in value since the sanctions halted imports.

    1. Funny.

      Is the trading value of an AK-47 in Africa still at $50?

      1. But that’s a lot of money. Think of all the lip plates and neck stretchers you could buy for $50.

        1. You know what those lip plates are for?

          1. My balls. Can’t say I didn’t give you enough time.

            1. Well that would be a scrotum plate, sorry to be technical.

    2. “Hold my vodka and watch this”

      1. Good one. I think I’m obligated to buy one. Buy local, think global and all that.

        1. “Buy local, destroy flesh.”

    3. Can the American-made versions reliably fire that cheap steal-cased surplus shit from the USSR? If it can’t, then what’s the point?

    4. plans to manufacture the famous AK-47 assault rifles

      I seriously doubt that, since AK-47s are full auto.

  15. Iran awarded medals to the navy commanders responsible for capturing U.S. sailors who strayed into its territorial waters last month.

    These guys are epic trolls. I tip my ???? to them.

    1. I ain’t Googling that. It’s probably something dirty.

      1. Why, whatever would make you think this? I am horribly offended.

        1. I got GIF. But Tundra told me it was NSFA.

          1. NSFA

            Not Safe For Ahura-Mazda?

            1. +1 Zoroaster

  16. Right to Rise’s largest donation ? a whopping $10 million ? came from C.V. Starr, a firm run by former AIG chief Maurice “Hank” Greenberg.

    He’s hoping Jeb hits this election out of the park.

    1. I have yet to meet an actual real person who will acknowledge liking and supporting Jeb Bush. I’m convinced that some Wall Street hedge fund managers are the only ones.

      Also, the Iowa Caucuses are one of the dumbest things in the world.

      1. Yup. If it was the second primary event in the nation instead of the first, nobody would pay any attention.

      2. have yet to meet an actual real person who will acknowledge liking and supporting Jeb Bush.

        My mom is like the only person I know who would vote for him.

      3. the Iowa Caucuses are one of the dumbest things in the world.

        I have explained how the caucuses work so many times, I am tired of it.

        The caucus is the mechanism for electing members of the county party. It is also a fund raising mechanism for the party. Everything is organized by volunteers; the caucuses are held at free sites; the party nets a small profit from donations taken the night of the caucuses from people that attend the caucus.

        A state-wide primary would require both the Republican and Democratic parties to shell out millions of dollars to the state of Iowa to hold official elections.

        The straw poll held at the caucus is non-binding. It is the media that turns the caucuses and the straw poll into a circus. All because “Jimmy Who?” managed to come in second to undeclared in 1976.

        So seriously, do some research or just fuck off.

        1. OK, the popular conception and media portrayal of the Iowa caucuses is the stupidest thing in the world.

          1. the popular conception and media portrayal of the Iowa caucuses is the stupidest thing in the world.

            We have a winner!

        2. A state-wide primary would require both the Republican and Democratic parties to shell out millions of dollars to the state of Iowa to hold official elections.

          Do parties normally pay for primary elections held in other states? I thought they didn’t.

          1. Well the dude at the county party headquarters could have been stupid or lying when he explained why the party doesn’t run a primary instead of the caucus.

            1. Well the dude at the county party headquarters could have been stupid or lying when he explained why the party doesn’t run a primary instead of the caucus.

              Ok…

              That doesn’t answer my question. Google did not immediately yield useful results. There is a petition to “end public funding of primary elections” which implies that it exists, but doesn’t break it down by state quantify it.

  17. Earth is actually two planets, scientists conclude

    Earth is actually made up from two planets which came together in a head-on collision that was so violent it formed the Moon, scientists have concluded.

    Initially it was believed that the Moon was created when a smaller planet called Theia grazed the Earth and broke up, sending a smaller chunk into space where it was caught in Earth’s gravity.

    But if that was the case the Moon would have a different chemical composition to the Earth, because it would be made up, predominantly, of Theia.

    However, after studying Moon rocks brought back by astronauts on the Apollo missions, scientists at the University of California have found that their oxygen isotopes are the same as on Earth.

    1. This could make the chances we’re going to find other forms of intelligent life in the universe a lot slimmer. When we thought all all it took was a planet orbiting in the habitable zone of its star, there were tons of candidates. Add in a moon (for tides) and a magnetosphere, and a lot fewer planets make the cut. Now if it turns out those last two things (and maybe other life-necessary things besides) only occur from the collision of two planets; and now only that, but a collision in such a way that the two planets combine; well, it that’s what it takes, there may not be a lot of other life out there.

      1. Well, damn. Who’s going to work in my monocle sweatshops on Tau Ceti IV NOW?

      2. Recess-peanut butter cup theory?

      3. I don’t think there is any reason to assume that the moon has to be of similar composition to the planet for it to do what it needs to do to make life work (if a large moon is even necessary). There may still be lots of ways a system similar enough to Earth could come about. And even if it is extremely unlikely, there are a whole lot of start out there and we can only look for planets around the very nearby ones.
        I tend to think it is fairly unlikely that we will find intelligent life in any case. But you never know.

      4. 300,000,000,000 stars in our galaxy times 100,000,000,000 galaxies in our observable universe. I like the odds of other life out there.

        1. Odds of life are very good. Odds of actually encountering another intelligent life form are harder to figure.

      5. Good. When we start living on Alpha Centauri IV in a thousand years, we won’t have to allow the Centaurans to run all the casinos.

  18. Someone was asking about Puerto Rico the other day (shit, I can’t remember who it was now). Anyway, I heard back from my brother:

    We stayed in the Sheraton in old San Juan. Really nice hotel and walking distance to the forts and a ton of restaurants and shops. It’s a cab ride to the beach from where our hotel was, and we never went to the beach since we were only there for one night.

    There were street performers and bands with a stage too.

    I maintain that it’s still worth renting a car and going to see Arecibo, but then I’m biased.

    1. ’twas me. Booked my hotel at the Vanderbilt, which is close to Old San Juan.

    2. What can you do at Arecibo? Do they do tours or something? Seems like the kind of place where they wouldn’t want a lot of visitors getting in the way. Also, are they in a radio quiet zone, like Greenbank?

      1. There is a nice visitors center and observing deck. You can’t interfere with the actual operation, except by taking digital pictures. But it’s not in a radio quiet zone like Green Bank so the interference is there, anyway.

  19. Eagles are being trained to take out illegal drones

    Forget anti-drone drones, one of nature’s most majestic hunters may soon play a valuable role in taking down dangerous UAVs. As part of a new trial, the Dutch National Police force has begun training eagles to intercept troublesome drones during an emergency, when another capture device might put people below at risk.

    In collaboration with raptor training company Guard From Above, Dutch police taught an eagle to recognize a DJI drone. Once in sight, the bird flies toward its mechanical prey, snatches it with its enormous talons and then takes it to safe place. The eagle is one of the two “physical” methods the force are trialling — the other being a safety net — but a trained bird of prey gives officers more control over where the offending drone is brought down to earth.

    1. Come on, man. I had a rough night and I hate the fuckin’ Eagles, man!

      1. GET OUT OF MY CAB!

      2. Sounds like you’re having another tequila sunrise.

    2. Eagles are being trained to take out illegal drones

      I don’t know whether to make this an Israel joke or a Glenn Frey joke.

      1. Or a Philadelphia Eagles joke.

    3. Why not use a drone to take down a drone? We don’t use horses or RPGs to take down speeding cars, so why would we treat drones any different?

      1. Speak for yourself, using an RPG from horseback to take down a speeding car sounds Awesome.

        1. The Soviets may have some footage from Afghanistan you’d like.

        2. The horse and RPG combo has to be something you can do in GTA, right?

      2. Because we can’t make drones that work as well as eagles yet?

        Maybe the eagles can catch them so they don’t fall and land on people.

        In any case, eagles attacking drones is awesome and why would you not want that to be a thing.

    4. Nature beat them to it – http://tinyurl.com/lbmc9wf

  20. Let’s understand, not misrepresent, Bernie Sanders’ call for democratic socialism

    A political revolution is indeed necessary. Capitalist economies concentrate wealth in the hands of the few, an arrangement inherently inimical to democracy. Economic power translates to political power via the domination by moneyed interests of the media and mass culture, as well as through lobbying, campaign contributions and other channels of informal influence. In America today, this inequality of wealth and power has reached alarming levels. Now is the time for a mass movement to transition our society away from capitalism and toward democratic socialism.

    Credit unions, community gardens, libraries, worker co-ops and public schools are all examples of socialism in the real world. Contrary to the image of inhuman and oppressive “big government” fostered by right-wing propaganda, the ideals of democratic socialism reflect basic human values of community, freedom and democracy we all share.

    Imagine a librarian with a SWAT team…

    1. Contrary to the image of inhuman and oppressive “big government” fostered by right-wing propaganda, the ideals of democratic socialism reflect basic human values of community, freedom and democracy we all share.

      And if you don’t like it you’ll get locked in a cage.

    2. Huh, and I thought all those were examples of freedom of association in action, the exact opposite of socialism. Also, if these things will pop up on their own, why do you need to force people to participate?

      Sometimes I wish I was rich so I could just donate a couple hundred acres to these people and tell them to go build their ideal society. Maybe split it up into quadrants so multiple groups can have a go at it (actually that might end up with a workable society, if people can stay true to their ideals by moving next door the groups will be forced to compete).

      1. Also, if these things will pop up on their own, why do you need to force people to participate?

        Fairness. It’s simply not fair that some people choose to associate with the correct institutions while others do not. Those who do not are ruining society. That is why they must be forced to do the right thing. All reality-based people understand this.

      2. There have been numerous attempts to establish socialist communes in the US. Here in Dallas, most folks don’t know that Reunion Tower and Reunion Street were so named because they mark the spot where a bunch of hippie-dippie French socialists intended to gather to form a socialist commune in 1855.

        These experiments failed even though participants were of generally homogeneous ethnic and cultural backgrounds and nearly identical political and religious orientations. They all voluntarily participated with high hopes and a personal interest in the success of their commune. And, yet, they all failed. Such a favorable beginning is utterly impossible if the experiment is performed on a national level. If one is incapable of learning from experiments in the past, I doubt another experiment would be persuasive.

        Marx was clever enough to understand that voluntary socialist communes were a non-starter, and criticized them as puerile, utopian socialism. He and his followers understood that violent class warfare and permanent revolution are necessary to establish genuine socialism. Lenin was savvy enough to use utopian socialists as “useful idiots” to advance the revolution, and to understand that concept of the vanguard of the proletariat. Once the old order had been overturned, he understood that his vanguard would seize the reins of power to the exclusion of all others. The utopians would, of course, be liquidated once they outlived their usefulness.

    3. Credit unions, community gardens, and worker co-ops are all voluntary. I have no problem with any of them. We bank with a credit union and have shopped at local co-ops from time to time.

      Libraries still exist?

      public schools are all examples of socialism in the real world…the ideals of democratic socialism reflect basic human values of community, freedom and democracy we all share

      Conspicuously absent from the list are quality, effectiveness, and accountability.

      1. public schools are all examples of socialism in the real world

        Yeah, maybe not the best example for getting people excited about socialism.

        1. “To call something public is to define it as dirty, insufficient and hazardous.”
          -P.J. O’Rourke

    4. You know one thing leftists never mention as contributing to income inequality but which seems like a major factor? Immigration.

      Mass immigration means some of the poorest, least educated people on the planet moving into some of the richest, best educated societies. This is guaranteed to cause an increase in income inequality. When was the lowest level of inequality in US history? The 1950s, which just so happened to be the slowest period of immigration in the last 100 years. Inequality has increased starting in the ’70s, which is when we began seeing much higher rates of immigration.

      Then you look at Europe. Sweden currently has the fastest growing income inequality on the continent. This has coincided with Sweden going from being the most homogenous society on Earth to having loads of immigration from Somalia and Iraq. Their poverty rate’s tripled in the last 15 years.

      It’s very likely inequality is directly related to large scale immigration. Given that fact, it’s insane to argue that we should completely reorder the economic system in order to ‘stop’ a problem which is going to happen no matter what given current migration from the third world into the first world.

      1. Mass immigration means some of the poorest, least educated people on the planet moving into some of the richest, best educated societies.

        And on the surface of it, it should be impossible for this level of mass migration to take place, for an unskilled and destitute person with no intellectual capital or wealth, to move to a developed high-standard-of-living society and actually be able to make it work out. The thing that makes this possible, is the welfare state.

        It’s perfectly acceptable and reasonable that a 3rd worlder would come to Sweden to out-compete the locals for some lower skilled and lower paying jobs. What’s not reasonable or acceptable, is that the 3rd worlder who is only able to be in a position to out-compete locals in the first place because he is subsidized by tax payers. This is just not a natural movement of people predicated on freedom of association and simple economics. It’s a state directed movement of people, it’s colonization, it’s population replacement.

        1. So you’re claiming that Sweden is paying their way over?

          1. So you’re claiming that you prefer to take on strawmen? Or that you just don’t read that well?

            1. So you’re now saying that they don’t? Why don’t you pick one and stick with it to see where it goes.

              1. Please indicate where I said the Swedish government buys their airline ticket. Or the other option, you could just stop being disingenuous.

                1. Your first paragraph.

                  1. Don’t see it. It must be in very small font.

          2. “So you’re claiming that Sweden is paying their way over?”

            No, he’s claiming they’re subsidizing them in Sweden which is an unnatural deformation of a free labor market because it allows people who otherwise would not be able to outcompete Swedes to outcompete Swedes.

            Immigration to jobs is wonderful, immigration to welfare is catastrophic. This includes situations where people have both jobs and welfare but are able to work for a vastly lower wage due to welfare subsidies and therefore cause wages and job opportunities to plunge for people who are already in the country.

            Apparently attacking welfare is okay provided you don’t attack the negative impact of welfare on immigration.

            It’s amazing how any argument about problems with immigration results in a great mass of willful misrepresentations by Reason commenters.

            1. Immigration to jobs is wonderful, immigration to welfare is catastrophic.

              Nicely summarized. And, in fact, one of the core principles of US immigration law, however badly it is implemented.

            2. an unnatural deformation of a free labor market because it allows people who otherwise would not be able to outcompete Swedes to outcompete Swedes.

              That’s internally contradictory. Now granted, welfare for immigrants is not a great idea, but if the person is working, welfare isn’t the issue. The people on welfare by definition aren’t in the job market, they’re just your ordinary brand of leach.

              1. but if the person is working, welfare isn’t the issue. The people on welfare by definition aren’t in the job market, they’re just your ordinary brand of leach.

                Right, because an immigrant that makes the equivalent of $9 per hour, because he has a low skillset, would be able to afford to support his entire family in Sweden without any help from welfare.

                1. I meant “leech.” Ooops.

                  Nonetheless, it only takes a few minutes of looking around there to find immigrants doing many of the things they do here to make ends meet. Admittedly, it also only takes a few minutes of looking around to find immigrants who sit on their asses and collect checks- just like here.

              2. Now granted, welfare for immigrants is not a great idea, but if the person is working, welfare isn’t the issue.

                If they are working off the books (or, I suppose, on the books), and making too little to support themselves on?

                If they get special benefits unavailable to the locals because they are “refugees”?

        2. And on the surface of it, it should be impossible for this level of mass migration to take place, for an unskilled and destitute person with no intellectual capital or wealth, to move to a developed high-standard-of-living society and actually be able to make it work out.

          You switch there from mass-immigration to talking about a poor individual. While the generous welfare states of places like Sweden certainly do incentivize more immigration than would happen organically, I don’t see how that means that that individual couldn’t make it work.

          1. An individual could make it work but many individuals who otherwise couldn’t make it work can make it work due to welfare deforming the labor market.

            You’re right – you need to differentiate between what happens in the aggregate vs. what happens with individuals. Many individuals from very poor countries would have no problem finding work in Sweden, but many who otherwise couldn’t get drawn there through welfare.

          2. I think the point is that, regardless of whether a small handful of individuals could make it work, there is no way a large mass can.

          3. You switch there from mass-immigration to talking about a poor individual.

            I didn’t switch anything. What I didn’t say is that all immigrants from the 3rd world shouldn’t be able to out-compete local Swedes. What I did say, is that without a welfare state, it would be impossible that a large mass of the aforementioned individuals (low skill, low capital) would be able to transplant themselves into a high skill oriented society with high standards of living.

            1. Well, that’s not exactly what you said, but I get what you mean now and I won’t be a dick and argue about it further.

              1. Yeah, it’s not exactly what I said, I had to re-state it in different words because you needed clarification after claiming that I engaged in a bait-and-switch, which I didn’t. Thanks for totally not being a dick though!

                1. You clarified what you meant. It’s all good. Relax. I didn’t accuse you of bait-and-switch. Just that you changed from talking about masses of immigrants to the case of a hypothetical individual.

                  Why are people so insistent on arguing with what they imagine people meant rather than what they actually say?

      2. This is another of the many reasons why inequality just isn’t a problem in and of itself. The US has, and almost always has had, relatively high inequality because we’ve had lots of immigrants. But those immigrants were most definitely improving their lives and the lives of their descendants. The situation where that kind of inequality can exist has improved life drastically for millions of people.

        1. “This is another of the many reasons why inequality just isn’t a problem in and of itself. The US has, and almost always has had, relatively high inequality because we’ve had lots of immigrants. But those immigrants were most definitely improving their lives and the lives of their descendants.”

          Bingo. This is also why people saying ‘average wages in the US have been stagnant’ are idiots. What you have to do is look at average wages for people who haven’t immigrated here recently. Immigrants will drive down average wages, so if you have high immigration it can look like wages are stagnant even though wages have increased for BOTH people who were here previously AND for immigrants.

          Everyone’s life can be improved even as aggregate wages appear stagnant.

    5. “Credit unions, community gardens, libraries, worker co-ops and public schools are all examples of socialism in the real world.”

      Credit unions and community gardens are frequently set up by non-government entities, the first US libraries were private entities set up by Benjamin Franklin using subscription fees (and why bring up libraries as an example when they’re currently being made redundant by the internet?), worker co-ops are like the antithesis of state socialism since they’re set up by workers, not the government, and US public schools are total catastrophes.

      You have failed to convince me.

      1. He said they were examples of socialism, not state socialism.

        1. And it occurred in an article titled “Let’s understand, not misrepresent, Bernie Sanders’ call for democratic socialism” which is a call for state socialism.

          If they’re arguing those are examples of socialism, then free market capitalism is an example of socialism since people create organizations no matter what. That’s a meaningless definition that encompasses all human social activity and is beside the point when talking about Sanders.

          1. If they’re arguing those are examples of socialism, then free market capitalism is an example of socialism since people create organizations no matter what.

            Socialism does have a meaning beyond state socialism, and it doesn’t include free-market capitalism. Don’t be silly. There’s no reason to address this on terms other than, “yes, those structures exist and are acceptable if coercion is not involved,” i.e., the same as the terms for any other social structure, unless you want to argue against the morality of socialism per se — and the many defenders of family life on this board won’t want that.

            1. How am I being silly? Here’s the quote:

              “Credit unions, community gardens, libraries, worker co-ops and public schools are all examples of socialism in the real world. Contrary to the image of inhuman and oppressive “big government” fostered by right-wing propaganda, the ideals of democratic socialism reflect basic human values of community, freedom and democracy we all share.”

              He’s explicitly linking non-state socialism to state socialism in order to argue that coercive socialism is actually freedom. I’m criticizing this position.

              1. Collectivists like to think of individualists as islands who refuse to cooperate with anyone. This gets a bit confusing for them when they see individualists voluntarily acting in a collective fashion, such as with a credit union or community garden. I guess they figure that if some people voluntarily work collectively, then those people must agree that everyone should be forced into doing what they chose to do. Besides that, it’s only fair.

              2. Okay, but you criticized it by saying “many of these things are set up privately,” when their argument was basically, “since many of these things are set up privately, you shouldn’t fear them.”

            2. There’s no reason to address this on terms other than, “yes, those structures exist and are acceptable if coercion is not involved,” i.e., the same as the terms for any other social structure,

              Is that so? I thought you believed the government is in a separate moral category from all other groups, organizations and institutions.

              1. I thought you believed the government is in a separate moral category from all other groups, organizations and institutions.

                I think you have that backwards. It’s the people who believe that government is legitimate who put it in a special category.

                1. I think you have that backwards. It’s the people who believe that government is legitimate who put it in a special category.

                  No, Nikki literally put them in a separate moral category during a debate. I assume though that she doesn’t really believe this, and only claimed to do so in order to defend her indefensible position in a debate.

                  1. You’re still having trouble with basic logic and reading comprehension.

                    I said clearly that I didn’t recognize any “rights” of the government to hold and administer property. You however apparently do believe in such rights, since you believe you have the right to participate in such administration.

                    What does it mean to be an anarchist when you can cite the fact of any past theft at any point in history as justification for you yourself to participate in state oppression?

                    1. You’re still having trouble with basic logic and reading comprehension.

                      I comprehended what you wrote just fine. Your words were literally

                      I am putting the government in a separate moral category because it has no legitimacy and no moral worth. Essentially, government property has no owner under this view. That’s why it’s a commons.

                      And if anyone thinks this might be out of context, I invite you to go the thread in question and look at the whole exchange. (can’t post the exact beginning of the discussion because link to specific comments seems to broken)

                      https://reason.com/blog/2016/01…..s-michigan

                      You however apparently do believe in such rights, since you believe you have the right to participate in such administration.

                      No, I don’t. And that’s very clear in the exchange to be found in that link. But since we’re on the subject of “participating in such administration”, didn’t you recently declare your support for gubmint forcing people to shovel their sidewalks? You know because, people who don’t are like total dicks and stuff.

                      What does it mean to be an anarchist when you can cite the fact of any past theft at any point in history as justification for you yourself to participate in state oppression?

                      What does it mean to be an anarchist willing to lie and weasel your way out of every dumb argument you make?

              2. Is that so? I thought you believed the government is in a separate moral category from all other groups, organizations and institutions.

                “The government” is a fiction. All individuals are in the same moral category.

                1. “The government” is a fiction. All individuals are in the same moral category.

                  It’s nice that you say that now and I’m glad you’ve changed your mind, when it suits you. But I recall that about a week or so ago, you claimed that the government is in it’s own moral category, distinct from all other individuals and groups. You did this in order to argue that when government steals property, the rightful owner no longer has a claim, but all of humanity now lays moral claim to utilize that property. Good to know you found out how stupid that position is.

                  1. It’s adorable that you think that’s what that means.

                    I never said that “the rightful owner no longer has a claim.” I said stolen and subsequently abandoned property was a commons. You don’t seem to think the property has been abandoned, yet the “rightful owner” is making no moves to recoup his property. For some reason, hundreds of years after the fact, I’m supposed to think the property is still “owned” by someone’s heirs rather than recognizing the obvious fact that there is no longer anyone with a legitimate title.

                    1. I never said that “the rightful owner no longer has a claim.” I said stolen and subsequently abandoned property was a commons.

                      January 20th Nikki

                      You want to keep saying it’s “your property” after the state has stolen it, but it’s not: it’s common property now, and there is no way to administer it that does not violate the NAP.

                      For some reason, hundreds of years after the fact, I’m supposed to think the property is still “owned” by someone’s heirs rather than recognizing the obvious fact that there is no longer anyone with a legitimate title.

                      If there is a legitmate surviving heir to the stolen property, yes they are the rightful owners. If there is no qualified heir, then logically the legitimate claim reverts back to whichever individual, or non-government entity, that currently possesses it.

            3. Socialism does have a meaning beyond state socialism,

              Oh, I’m sure some people use it that way, but its not the commonly accepted definition, and as such is misleading in most contexts.

              1. Well, there are all those collectivist anarchists.

        2. He said they were examples of socialism, not state socialism.

          A rose by any other name… And he did mention public schools too, is that not a state entity? Or are those institutions just “commons” that everyone is forced to support because of the non-aggression principle (somehow)?

          1. State socialism is a variety of socialism.

            X is an example of state socialism.

            Therefore, X is an example of socialism.

            Work on your logic. Also, when you get around to figuring out why I should care about “your” property rights over ROADZ but not Native Americans’ property rights over them, let me know.

            1. something something 3rd world filthy savages

            2. . Also, when you get around to figuring out why I should care about “your” property rights over ROADZ but not Native Americans’ property rights over them, let me know.

              Non-sequitur. If someone is murdering you, tell me why I should care about “your” life but not persons X, Y and Z that were murdered once upon a time.

              If you think the Native American example of expropriation somehow defeats the concept of consistently applicable property rights, then you have a great deal yet to learn. It’s your own fault that you don’t have a rational conception of property rights.

              1. Is the government currently building roads on your private property?

                1. Not my own land. But they certainly steal my property to finance the construction of those roads in far away and local places alike.

                  1. So your basic position is: if the state steals anything from me, that gives me a moral right to coercively dictate everything that any part of the state touches, because money is fungible and I therefore own a part share in everything the state has ever touched.

                    Well, I’m glad being an anarchist isn’t getting in the way of your desire to force your neighbors to conform to your wishes.

                    1. if the state steals anything from me, that gives me a moral right to coercively dictate everything that any part of the state touches, because money is fungible and I therefore own a part share in everything the state has ever touched.

                      No, great strawman though. I simply responded to your question about government stealing my property.

                2. Is it okay for them to force you to shovel yours?

    6. “In America today, this inequality of wealth and power has reached alarming levels. Now is the time for a mass movement to transition our society away from capitalism and toward democratic socialism.”

      Will these fuckwits never go away? Enough, goddammit.
      That horseshit doesnt work. It doesnt. It doesnt work here, it doesnt work there, it didn’t work then, it won’t work now. It doesnt fuckin’ work. It creates misery, poverty, and totalitarianism.

      It doesnt work so shut the fuck up already.

      1. Beyond not working – it does the opposite. Where the left has ruled the longest without opposition is where income disparity is the largest.

        New York City and California – there is no middle class. Just really rich liberals and poor liberals.

        1. I see your point, but NYC and CA do have a non-trivial middle class of bureaucrats.

    7. “Capitalist economies concentrate wealth in the hands of the few…”

      Um, no. This is exactly the opposite. SOCIALIST economies are the ones that concentrate wealth in the hand of the few.

      I wish this animated chart could appear on the front page of every newspaper in the country about once a week.

      http://fee.org/freeman/why-is-…..shrinking/

      1. Even that chart is misleading because it refers to income, and income is not wealth.

        1. Also doesn’t take into account cost of living.

      2. What makes you think that progressives would look at any but the bar on the far right of the chart.

        They don’t really care about whether the living standards of the poor improve. Their real motivation is envy of the top 1% if they’re upper middle class or the top 10% if they’re middle class.

        A very large fraction of the population believes that we’re all in a zero-sum game and that the fact that somebody has more than they do means that they are not getting their fair share.

    8. Great. Then let the people do their democratic socialism voluntarily if that’s what they want so goddamn bad.

      1. It’s not fair if it is voluntary, because the people who do not choose to volunteer ruin it for the people who do. They must be forced to do the right thing, and ultimately be killed if they refuse to comply.

    9. Do they ever bother to define capitalism and democratic socialism? Because, “transition our society away from capitalism and toward democratic socialism” doesn’t make sense. Democratic socialism is just capitalism with an ‘uuuuge welfare state.

    10. this inequality of wealth and power has reached alarming levels.

      I would’ve thought King George III and slavery existing simultaneously would be a little worse than today …

  21. Going to LA in June, never been, need to get a consensus on the best taco places in the area, also any advice on things to do would be helpful.

    1. My advice: stay away from the cops.

    2. I lived there for a couple of years and never did figure out what to do.

      In June the beaches are nice. Maybe Manhattan Beach.

    3. The California crowd tends to show up in the PM links. You should ask again then.

    4. I actually enjoyed the cheezy star tours bus ride. It’s kind of odd seeing which unlikely collection of celebrities are neighbors, and the number of recognizable homes used in various movies that are in a very small area was interesting.

  22. When Trump tells supporters not to donate, they mostly listen

    The New York businessman’s quest to become the Republican party’s presidential nominee has attracted massive crowds but only a trickle of donations, the disclosures filed with the U.S. Federal Election Commission show. He raised just $2.6 million from donors in the last three months of 2015.

    Three quarters of that money came from sales of merchandise like baseball caps bearing his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” while only about $540,000 came from individuals giving more than $200.

    Most of his Republican rivals have raised far more. His nearest rival, Senator Ted Cruz, raised $20.5 million, while former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who was once the front runner but has fallen sharply in the polls, raised $7 million.

    Yet Trump still leads in every national poll as voters in Iowa prepare to gather for the country’s nominating contest on Monday.

    1. This is why Citizens United must be overturned, to get the influence of big money out of politics!!!1!!!!!
      /derp

  23. George Soros donates $8 million to boost Hillary
    The billionaire financier had dialed back his political giving after his failed 2004 effort to oust George W. Bush.

    George Soros in December donated $6 million to the leading super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, marking the return of the billionaire financier as among the biggest givers in all of American politics.

    The massive check brings to $8 million the Hungarian-born investor’s total 2015 giving to pro-Clinton groups.

    The super PAC that received the $6-million check, Priorities USA Action, raised $25 million in the second half of 2015, according to a report it filed Sunday evening with the Federal Election Commission. The haul brings the PAC’s tally to $41 million for the year, and left it with a strong $36 million in the bank headed into the year.

    1. You know who else Soros worked for?

      1. The Germans?

        1. You know what kind of Germans George Soros worked for?

          1. The bad kind?

            1. Is there such a thing as a good German?

              1. Kraftwerk
                Neu
                Can
                Faust
                La Dusseldorf
                etc etc

                1. oh ruin the joke *kicks pebble*

                  1. It was for your own good. It will spur you to develop a ruin-proof joke

                2. Kraftwerk
                  Neu
                  Can
                  Faust
                  La Dusseldorf
                  etc etc

                  You have not convinced me.

                  1. Fine: Milli Vanilli.

          2. White ones?

    2. KOCH RUINING DEMOCRACY!

    3. When she is indicted, assuming she is, are all the stoopid fuckers going to demand their money back?

  24. NYC Uber drivers plan strike over fare cuts

    1. Good on them. If the fares are actually to low to be profitable there should be enough people striking to get them changed. If they aren’t, well then the only folks hurt will be the strikers.

    2. Why do they need to “strike”? Why can’t they just not pick up any fares that they think aren’t worth it?

      1. Being independent contractors, you’d think they’d have a say in what the fare is, if not the final say.

        1. Well, ok, the customer gets the final say, but you know what I mean.

  25. NY Times Endorses Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination

    One of the most attractive parts of Mrs. Clinton’s economic platform is her pledge to support the well-being and rights of working Americans.

    Oh, FFS! As opposed to saying “Fuck ’em!” like Sanders and O’Malley.

    1. Shocking I tell you.

    2. Vote for the criminal! Because, vagina!

      1. Vote for the criminal because Democrat. When is the last time the NYT endorsed any Republican for the general election? Quick internet search tells me Eisenhower.

        Even when they endorse their nominations for the GOP ticket, they pick the candidate that’s the most like a Democrat, like Kasich.

    3. Anyone else notice that in her interview with Stephanopolous, HRC is now pretending it is the actual content of her emails that is upsetting the vast rightwing conspiricists? She said it’s time to stop the “infighting” and delays and just release the emails so that the American people can judge for themselves what’s in them.

    4. This morning I heard, again, the pro-Hillary Clinton commercial which features Jeanne Shaheen. I listened a bit more closely. She’s playing the war on women card as well as the support working American cards.

    5. “There’s no media bias except FAUX NEWZ, guys!! News outlets like the New York Times and Mother Jones just report unbiased facts with no spin whatsoever! Realitee haz liberull biass!!!!!”

      /prog

  26. Our faithful servants hard at work:

    Porn Menace

    1. Things could get really hard for porn fans in Utah.

      Heh.

      But while his bill is taking a firm stance against pornography, the state senator has nothing against masturbation.

      Heh, heh.

    2. He should just go to a support group instead.

      1. That’s not what getting elected is all about. Getting elected is about projecting all of your own problems onto society as a whole.

  27. Ace of Spades: Here’s Why I Am So Absolutely Opposed to Marco Rubio

    So for me, it has to be Cruz, or Trump. I’d prefer Cruz, as I keep saying. I’ll take Trump, though, because, while he’s kind of stupid and temperamentally unsuited for the job, he would nevertheless also serve as a repudiation of the Establishment’s Corporate Client “Conservatism.”

    The GOP is nakedly now a “clientist” party the same as the Democrat Party. They just have different clients.

    And those clients aren’t us.

    Some things the GOP does I don’t mind, per se, but I object to the GOP making them a priority, while they give us Fake Votes and Failure Theater on our priorities. I’m sure the right to export oil crude is useful. I just don’t think it’s worth selling out every other agenda item to get.

    1. ” I’ll take Trump, though, because, while he’s kind of stupid and temperamentally unsuited for the job, he would nevertheless also serve as a repudiation of the Establishment’s Corporate Client “Conservatism.””

      Ridiculously stupid. “This guy is incapable of doing this job at all, but let’s elect him anyway because he’ll make the establishment super mad!”

      File under: Nose, cutting off to spite face

  28. I would love to one day meet an Iowa caucus-goer face to face so I could ask him “What the hell is wrong with you?”

    1. “I’m lonely – at the caucus, people have to talk to me.”

      1. Wow, sounds like I struck a nerve there.

    2. A friend from college is caucusing near Grinnell, I could introduce you

    3. DD: “What’s that in your teeth?”
      Iowa caucus-goer: “Corn!”

  29. Just to correct the record because Krayewski has the reading comprehension of a retarded grapefruit, any Jew (or anyone else, for that matter) could pray at the Western Wall, so long as he/she conformed to Orthodox rules. Now, there’s a space for more liberal forms of observance, including mixed gender services. That’s all.

    1. Maybe they’ll stop charging them to pray there? Seems out of charactor.

    2. any Jew (or anyone else, for that matter) could pray at the Western Wall, so long as he/she conformed to Orthodox rules

      Mmmmkay, thanks for clarifying that. But it’s a distinction without meaning. For those of us outside the bubble of self-delusion the take-away is that those cranky religious fanatics are now slightly less fanatical, though still cranky (as evidenced by your posting). Perhaps they’re becoming desperate as more people turn away from superstition.

  30. Culture Club: How Media Makes a Meme

    The monopoly the so-called “party of youth” has clung to since the days of Camelot is coming to an end. Bill Clinton looks and sounds feeble, barely unable to lift a saxophone to his mouth on a late night talk show. There is a gray hair on Obama’s head for every disenfranchised far left entertainer (Maaat Daaymon) or unemployed college graduate who still can’t find a job and is drowning in their student debt or ducking their Obamacare premiums. And the cavalry isn’t coming anytime soon for the Democrats: their most exciting fresh face just got elected to the Senate from Massachusetts at the dewy young age of 64.

    But a culture-driven media knows that while they are unable to sell a candidate, they can still sell the message?no matter how unelectable, deranged, geriatric or preposterous the person they attach that branding to might be. The only way to sell a radical ideology to an engaged youth electorate is to change the narrative as best they can without engaging more culturally relevant candidates like a Marco Rubio or Rand Paul, who are just as comfortable talking Public Enemy and Pink Floyd as they are foreign policy, and appeal on a personal level as a human being, not just a preachy elder.

    1. LH, do you really want to hurt me? I thought that was a link to Boy George.

      1. Don’t play the crying game

      2. No I want to make you cry

      3. If Boy George and Elton John had a love child I think it would look like Sam Smith.

        1. Are you saying Sam Smith looks like a Lil Debbie Swiss Roll?

          1. Exactly

    2. Sanders is a kookily proud outsider and self-declared Democratic Socialist who joined the House of Representatives in 1988 and the Senate in 2005. In the quarter-plus century he’s served in federal office, only 3 bills he’s sponsored have ever made it into law. Otherwise, he was that guy you would occasionally see yelling about rapine capital or the unnecessary proliferation of deodorant brands to an empty chamber of Congress on C-Span during midday break sessions. And this has been Bernie’s professional life for the past 35 years. Get up. Go to Congress. Fight with Lamp. Declare victory.

      Day-um.

      1. That is… wonderful.

  31. OT:

    I don’t know if this one has been addressed yet, but..

    Check your DNA privilege”

    1. Colman has genetic markers for cystic fibrosis, and kids with the inherited lung disease can’t be near each other because they’re vulnerable to contagious infections. Two siblings with cystic fibrosis also attended Colman’s middle school in Palo Alto, California in 2012. So Colman was out…

      So, they can live together and be near each other 24/7, including school, but some kid who doesn’t have it is a problem.

      Surely there is a super-smart explanation for this.

      1. Established policy (Zero-tolerance responsibility), the one size fits all dunce cap for petty bureaucrats..
        “Hey.. their hands are tied..”

      2. Siblings getting sick at the same time is expected. Damage is also minimized to one family.
        Plus, banning them from attending the same school will not prevent them from being in close contact, so it’s actually a case of the school not stupidly enforcing zero tolerance.

  32. Freshly laundered, sanitized, washed again by hand and radiation sterilized, the hair and hat rode proudly into Iowa atop a beaming Donald, freshly laundered, sterilized and tranquilized himself.

    As the limo cruised to the first stop, the hair whispered, afraid of being overheard by the crushing array of aides that had stuffed themselves into the car with their deranged god, “Just kiss the babies, Donald. Just a simple kiss. No tongue this time.”

    “But they are delicious,” Donald rumbled.

    “Dammit,” the hat said. “You want a baby we’ll get you one after the caucus. Eat it, serb it, sacrifice it to Aqua Buddha, who cares? Just hold it together today.”

    An aide threw a hand towel over Donald’s erection and dialed back his Cialis pump with a smartphone app.

    “Let me out of here!” Donald screamed suddenly. “LET ME OUT!”

    “We’re almost there, Mr. Trump,” another aide said. He had a jet injector full of ketamine at the ready.

    “I AM THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE!” Donald wailed.

    “Look at his alpha waves. They’re like the goddamn Andes!” a technician squealed.

    “Hit him! HIT HIM!” another screamed.

    “Donald, straighten up,” the hair said. “We got important shit today.”

    “OK,” Donald said in a small voice. “Will Mommy be there?”

    “No, Donald,” the hat told him.

    The limo slowed to a stop in front of a sea of old white people. Donald reached for the door handle.

    “Remember, Donald… sic transit gloria,” the hair whispered.

    Donald said, “Don’t you dare speak Mexican to me.”

    1. What do Hat/Hair do on their days off?

      1. Do you really want to be asking that question?

      2. Don’t know about the hat, but I don’t think the hair EVER gets a day off.

        1. The closest thing the hair gets to time off is when it is on its charging station.

    2. ” Eat it, serb it, sacrifice it to Aqua Buddha”

      I don’t know what serb it means, but I’m afraid.

      1. It’s a reference to a favorite Serbian pastime in the Yugoslav Wars, verbed in both John Barnes’ Kaleidoscope Century and A Serbian Film.

        1. Awful. Well done.

  33. Sic semper tyrannis
    is probably as appropriate as
    sic transit gloria mundi
    Time will tell..

  34. Berlin teen made up gang rape

    A Berlin teen who claimed to have been abducted and gang-raped by migrants, sparking angry protests and an international row with Russia, has admitted making up the story and was found to have been staying with a German man instead, an official said Monday.

    The 13-year-old girl — a member of Berlin’s Russian-speaking community — made the rape claim to police when she returned after a 30-hour absence last month. She alleged that three men of Arabic and Turkish descent had dragged her into a car at a train station and abused her.

    1. Al Sharpton is on his way!

    2. Unsurprising. There were also a bunch of Swedes beating up migrants in Stockholm the other day, too. This is going to become an absolute clusterfuck since the various groups don’t appear to like each other very much.

      1. I saw that report.

        I expect Europeans will get back to their historic norm of mass killings soon, though I’m gambling the killings will wait until after my Europe trips this year.

      2. Aren’t the Swedes the people that the left love to constantly tell us are the greatest and most enlightened westerners on the planet? Or maybe it’s the Danes, I tend to get them confused.

        1. It was Sweden until mass immigration caused a huge increase in Swedish poverty as well as lots of crime in cities like Malmo. Plus the Swedes then went nuts as a result of immigrant crime and are now forming vigilante groups to beat the shit out of random brown people who may or may not be immigrants and most of whom are completely innocent.

          So now they don’t talk about Sweden as much. They tend to memory hole their former Socialist Utopias when they cease to be sufficiently utopian.

          1. It’s the Danes now, but probably not for much longer once they start confiscating valuables from migrants in order to pay for their stay.

      3. There were also a bunch of Swedes beating up migrants in Stockholm the other day, too.

        The story I saw was that gangs of Somalian yoot were infesting some place, robbing and molesting people, and the locals got fed up with it.

        As always, the true facts remain something of a mystery, but the basic point remains:

        If the authorities won’t protect people, people will eventually protect themselves.

        1. The story I saw was that gangs of Somalian

          Moroccan.

          The story said the police were overwhelmed by the amount of younger men who had immigrated to the city, refused any assistance, and essentially ran amok in the streets.

          If the authorities won’t protect people, people will eventually protect themselves.

          Exactly.

    3. A Berlin teen who claimed to have been abducted and gang-raped by migrants, sparking angry protests and an international row with Russia, has admitted making up the story and was found to have been staying with a German man instead, an official said Monday.

      WHAT?!? Women never lie about Muslim rape.

      1. Should we be freaking out right now? Duct-taping our legs together? Or apologising for being part of the lying liar gender who never really gets rape-raped?

        I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

  35. In other news, This is why there will never be a Libertarian moment. Seven reasonoids sign up for a game of Diplomacy, but only 3 can reliably turn in orders over a period of 4 days.

    Way to go, reason.

    1. I would have played but missed the sign up by an hour, next time?

    2. Well, the link didn’t work, so that might be part of the problem.

    3. Yeah, keep reminding me. I was considering it, but something else shiny happened.

  36. A week ago I was somewhat hopeful that Trump might not win in Iowa and then might his popularity begin to deflate and the “non-Trump” voters would coalesce around some one candidate.

    But alas the stupid “birther” anti-Cruz ads and press have apparently had some effect.

    Could the Republicans lose the House as well as the Senate in the resulting Clinton Landslide?

    1. *Clutches pearls*
      “Could the Republicans lose the House as well as the Senate in the resulting Clinton Landslide?”

      Unlikely, but if trump becomes president.. I could live with the GOoP loosing one or the other.

      1. In fact this is the best scenario. Already we have seen the GOP establishment jumping on board with Trump. Were he a president, we’d have the GOP in full control of the Executive and Legislative branches. Trump would fart out some stupid policy proposal and the GOP would lap it up just to share some of his idiot glory.

        Trump as president will be like Bloomberg. He is a well to do arrogant man who thinks that any idea in his head is just fantastic, and he should just make it a law.

        At least with Dems blocking in the house or senate, there would be something to stop Trump

        1. I assume Trump would have a pen and a phone, would he not?

    2. Clinton is not going to win the general. And I don’t care what the polls say, the only minute chance that she could is if Trump IS her opponent. Much more likely: a landslide victory for the GOP with Cruz playing the part of Nixon and either Clinton or Sanders as McGovern.

      (I’m never right about my election predictions; your results may vary)

      1. I think that whether Clinton wins, either the nom or the general, depends largely on whether the FBI and intelligence communities leak the results of the email investigation. The biggest roadblock may be that the intelligence community doesn’t want to admit they knew about the whole time, and did and said nothing. Or, alternatively, that they had no clue, which may be just as bad.

        You know her email was being harvested by who knows how many foreign agencies. The potential for blackmail alone should disqualify her.

        1. Should, but I think the real world effect will be miniscule. Her supporters (and left-liberals in general) don’t give a flying crap about her criminal activities with national security any more than they care about the guys who died at Benghazi and why. As far as they’re concerned, the laws don’t apply to her. I just don’t see a lot of people out there seriously thinking “I MIGHT have voted for her, but those emails were the last straw for me.”

          1. Her supporters (and left-liberals in general) don’t give a flying crap

            They aren’t enough to drag her over the finish line. She needs to pick up some normal people as well. If what the investigation shows is half of what I think it shows, she will lose a lot of normal people.

            Its incredible, if you talk to people, how little most of them know about her email problem.

      2. There is no good outcome to this election. I mean, there isn’t a non-really-bad outcome.

  37. What is the reaction of European liberals to the United States political center of gravity galloping towards socialism in the last 10-15 years?

    (as many Europeans had moved towards liberalism)

    1. (as many Europeans had moved towards liberalism)

      Can you give me a reference to that? I think Zuckyboy is walking hand-in-hand with Merkel on squelching German discontent over the great migration.

    2. How many governors are socialist?

  38. ISIS claimed responsibility for bombings in Damascus that killed at least 45 while John Kerry was in Geneva calling for peace

    Dear god: imagine the violence that would be occurring if John Kerry weren’t taking such decisive action!

  39. Burma’s newly elected parliament convened for the first time…

    Myanmar. Did the PC crowd do Asians any favor by having us barbarians wildly mispronounce the names of their countries and cities?

  40. Germany hands out cartoon etiquette guides at swimming baths after dozens of women were groped by migrants

    This comes after migrants were banned from a historic swimming bath in Germany after a gang of men were caught on camera masturbating in a hot tub and sexually assaulting women.

    Several other men were seen ’emptying their bowels’ in the children’s end of the main swimming pool at the Johannisbad baths in Zwickau, Saxony.

    Management at the historic baths are reportedly no longer allowing migrants into the facilities following the allegations while some local swimmers have stayed away after the incidents.

    You don’t let anyone see you pee in the pool.

    1. Here’s the deal:

      Of course these migrants know not to shit in the pool. They are barbarians, not animals. They do it to assert dominance, to test their new society.

      Handing them cartoons is just going to reinforce their belief that the Euros can (and thus, should) be subservient to them. If you want to break this cycle, you need to punish them, either by deporting or jailing them.

      1. “They do it to assert dominance, to test their new society.”

        They do it to mark their territory, and ward off other males during the rut…

        “you need to punish them, either by deporting or jailing them.”

        Or, a squirt bottle, and a rolled-up newspaper…

      2. I go with the meme that there are separate countries for a reason. I don’t know specifically why that is, but my ignorance doesn’t make it a bad idea.

        I am avid swimmer. As far swimming pools go feces is septic, urine is not. Swimming facilities have signs that frankly tell you to pee before swimming. There are no signs that tell you to crap before swimming. That would have been fairly obvious a few years ago.

        1. I go with the meme that there are separate countries for a reason.

          Well there are reasons why everything is as it is. The reasons are often terrible ones. Just saying.

          I find it a lot easier to find bad things about there being separate countries. But I don’t know what the world would look like without them.

          1. “Imagine there’s no countries….”

      3. ” They are barbarians, not animals. ”

        One is as one does.

    2. Emptying bowels sounds a lot more like number 2 than number 1. Which, ewww. I wouldn’t go back there after seeing that either.

      1. “It’s no big deal.”

        *eats Baby Ruth*

    3. Urine is sterile. I know this because George Costanza could stand up to ankles in it.

    4. after a gang of men were caught on camera masturbating

      Does that strike anyone else as a bit odd? Gay guys? Sure. Horny straight teenagers? Maybe. But grown-up straight guys? Can one of you straight guys help me out on this? Also, is that some weird cultural thing with them (the MENA guys)?

      1. There used to be entire movie theaters full of grown-up straight guys whacking it to porn, right here in America. Not my cup of tea but it is what it is.

      2. Ever been to a French beach?

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  43. Rubio will win the nomination. Not that I like it, but that’s my call after his 3rd place showing in Iowa (basically tied with Trump.)

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