Monday, November 15, 2010
John Thune and Meg Whitman.
Thune is handsome, well spoken and smart. Meg brings wicked business savy and a peaceful, mature presence.
They're perfect together; chocolate and peanut butter perfect.
It's time for some adult supervision in the White House.
"ZERO". The flight risk of a nun blowing up a plane is ZERO.
The real question is: Will playing grope-n-grab TSA replace playing Doctor?
GO Heath! Bring it on baby!!
PS I must confess that I consider Heath a major hunk-heartthrob. You keep this up Heath, and I may be forced to switch parties!
We've been waiting. And waiting. And, really, sort of gave up. But after years of speculation and dispute, the Wall Street Journal says The Beatles are arriving on iTunes, tomorrow. Streaming will have to wait for another day. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.
Remember the story of 13-year-old patriot Cody Alicea? The flag on the bike he rides to school was banned by educrats just before Veterans Day lest it lead to "racial tensions." The story is not turning out well — at least, not for the bureaucrats, who had to back down. For Cody and other patriots, it's turning out great.
Here's photos of the escort that accompanied Cody to school today, compliments of Bunker:
Hats off to Cody and his many new friends.
Can you and I get waivers from Obamacare? No! But big companies, big unions, and big universities can.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that he now supports a ban on earmarks. As recently as last week, McConnell reportedly was quietly campaigning against such a ban. Moreover, McConnell has built his political career in part on earmarks. According to Politico, he secured $113 million from 58 earmarks last year, and during his closely contested 2008 re-election campaign McConnell touted his ability to deliver projects to Kentucky.
McConnell isn't exactly apologizing for earmarks past. He explained his change in position this way:
What I've concluded is that on the issue of congressional earmarks, as the leader of my party in the Senate, I have to lead first by example. Nearly every day that the Senate's been in session for the past two years, I have come down to this spot and said that Democrats are ignoring the wishes of the American people. When it comes to earmarks, I won't be guilty of the same thing.
Behind this principled sounding explanation lie solid pragmatic considerations. For one thing, McConnell presumably does not wish to face, or see members of caucus face, strong Tea Party opposition in primaries over the next few cycles.
Shallow, Sophomoric, and Appalling
As a rule, I prefer to avoid language that can be read as hyperbole. But if this story in the Jerusalem Post is accurate (h/t: The Muqata), the Obama administration has committed negotiation “diplomacy” of the most cynical and transparently calculating kind. It’s not just evidence of a breach of faith with an ally, moreover: it’s a stupid negotiating tactic. It suggests that a US national position, one that should be unchanging, is for sale.
In brief, JPost says the Israelis were told this weekend that if they would agree to a 90-day freeze in settlement construction, the US would commit to giving them 20 new fighter jets and supporting their national integrity, with vetoes if necessary, in the UN – for the next year.
There was a coyote running around downtown Chicago this weekend. Normally that'd be cause for concern, but in this case it's a GPS-outfitted coyote released by the city to eat rats and stuff. They promise it won't eat your kids!
Nov. 15, 1864: Sherman’s March to the Sea Changes Tactical Warfare
1864: Union troops under Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman burn the heart of Atlanta to the ground and begin their March to the Sea. By the time they’re done, the tactics of warfare will be changed forever.
After driving the Confederates out of Atlanta, Sherman entered the city in early September and remained until Nov. 15. Sparing only the churches, courthouse and the city’s private residences, Sherman’s troops cut the telegraph wires and burned everything else of consequence: warehouses, train depots, factories.
Then the army set off, four corps divided into two columns, on its march to the sea.
In a 62-day campaign of destruction, the 62,000-man Union force cut a ruinous, 60-mile-wide swath through Georgia: tearing up railroads, firing factories, destroying bridges, burning plantations, seizing livestock and freeing slaves. The army lived off the land, sacking the unfortunate homesteads and plantations that lay along the line of march.
After Savannah fell Dec. 22, Sherman paused only long enough to secure the seaport before swinging north into the Carolinas. The destruction wrought by the Federals in South Carolina — the first Southern state to secede from the Union — was even worse than it had been in Georgia.
Sherman was vilified for his barbarism, but the Union commander was a realist, not a romantic. He understood — as few of his contemporaries seemed to — that technology and industrialization were radically changing the nature of warfare.
It was no longer a question of independent armies meeting on remote battlefields to settle the issue. Civilians, who helped produce the means for waging modern war, would no longer be considered innocent noncombatants. Hitting the enemy where he ate and breaking him psychologically were just as important to victory as vanquishing his armies in the field.
Sherman grasped this and, though he wasn’t the first military proponent of total war, he was the first modern commander to deliberately strike at the enemy’s infrastructure. The scorched-earth tactics were effective. The fragile Southern economy collapsed, and a once-stout rebel army was irretrievably broken.
Blind Muslim Girl Can't Buy Dog
As a blind Muslim woman, Mona Ramouni has had to make do without a guide dog her whole life.
The 28-year-old's strictly religious parents would not allow a dog in the house, considering the animal unclean.
But then Miss Ramouni stumbled across a website article about miniature guide horses in April 2008.
'It was something that I never thought about for myself,' she said.
The psychology student used three years of savings from her job at a Braille proofreading company to pay for a horse to be trained to act as her guide.
At least when we look back on the global warming hoax, we can all have a good guffaw at the absurdly overblown proclamations of doom and the willful idiocy of the dupes who believe them. In the meantime, we can look back and laugh at the 70s, when the same sort of people were telling us that only submission to Big Government could save us from an onrushing ice age.
Even then they were hedging their bets, the way they do now by saying "climate change" instead of global warming. Here's a sample from UPI:
"At the recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science… the consensus seemed to be that, rather than experience either a warming trend or a cooling trend, we shall have both. Although not at the same time, fortunately."
Incredibly, a generation later people are still taking these clowns seriously.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…
Abu Hamza has managed to get himself thrown in jail by whipping up his fellow Religion of Peace members to kill Britons. When he gets out, he'll find his welfare mansion nicely spruced up — courtesy of British taxpayers:
Hate preacher Abu Hamza's family home is having a £40,000 makeover paid for by taxpayers, the Daily Mail can reveal.
Workmen from at least three construction firms have already spent two months doing up the £700,000, five-bedroom council property in an exclusive West London street.
Astonishingly, it is the second time in only five years that council bosses have approved expensive renovations on the property where the hook-handed cleric's wife and eight children live supported by benefits worth nearly £700 a week.
Hamza's bloodsucking future terrorist offspring are growing up in a classy neighborhood.
Hamza's family live in the only council property in the street in Shepherd's Bush, an area popular with bankers and City lawyers.
Former Cabinet Minister John Hutton lived next door to the cleric's family before putting his property on the market for £1million in June 2007.
Hamza isn't British.
On his release, the cleric cannot be deported to his country of birth, Egypt, after a court last week allowed him to keep his British passport, to protect his human rights.
All the Hamza children are British-born, meaning they are entitled to support from the state, which would continue even if Hamza is extradited.
Saw this last night. It was well done. Made me feel like I was living in Alaska. The scene taking the 8 year old daughter and niece fishing and having two brown bears fighting 50 feet from the boat was amazing. (Also, I don’t know of another female politician that would let themselves be photographed sans makeup in frazzled wet hair.)
'Sarah Palin's Alaska' Breaks TLC Ratings Record
Sarah Palin's documentary / travelogue / reality / biopic shattered TLC ratings records Sunday night.
The debut of Sarah Palin's Alaska delivered a whopping 5 million viewers.
The first episode of the eight-part series was the most-watched program launch in TLC's history.
Rangel, 80, then said he had to excuse himself from the hearing.
Ethics panelists then met in closed session to discuss the Harlem Democrat's request for what amounts to a continuance in the case, but came back and denied the request saying Rangel had ample time to prepare his defense.
"We recognize that Mr. Rangel has said he will not participate, as is his right," said committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., adding that "no conclusion of the facts of the matter can be drawn by Mr. Rangel's decision to refuse to participate in this hearing."
Drawing on new census data, Newsweek finds that seven of the 10 richest counties in America, including the top three, are in the Washington area. Newsweek‘s former sister publication, the Washington Post, summarizes the data. Only three counties in the United States have a median household income over $100,000, and they’re all Washington suburbs.
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys,
Don’t let ‘em make software and sell people trucks,
Make ‘em be bureaucrats and lobbyists and such.
From the moment Olbermann was found to have donated money to three Democratic candidates, there has been a deepening sense of anger and frustration among his colleagues, according to interviews with eight knowledgeable sources. These sources, who declined to be quoted by name because of the sensitivity of the situation, say that several of NBC’s front-line stars, including Tom Brokaw, have expressed concern to management that Olbermann has badly damaged MSNBC’s reputation for independence. (NBC and MSNBC executives declined to comment, and Olbermann declined to be interviewed.)
Network staffers use phrases like “scorched-earth policy” and “totally narcissistic response” to describe how Olbermann has dealt with criticism of his political donations. A recurring theme is that he has made it impossible for MSNBC to argue that it is journalistically different from Fox News, which has no prohibition against political donations by such commentators and talk-show hosts as Sean Hannity and Karl Rove. The word hypocrisy has frequently been aimed at Olbermann.
The Countdown host, for his part, feels misunderstood and unfairly singled out, yet buoyed by a wave of support from his liberal fans, who view him as a courageous champion for their cause. Olbermann almost single-handedly led MSNBC’s move to the left and helped the floundering network overtake CNN in the prime-time ratings, though both remain far behind Fox.
MON NOV 15 2010 09:59:49 ET: THIS MORNING DRUDGEREPORT PASSED 9 BILLION PAGE VIEWS IN YEAR! TOPPING 2009'S TOTAL OF 7.8 BILLION... BLACK AND WHITE AND READ ALL OVER: 43 COUNTRIES EACH HIT PAGE OVER 1 MILLION TIMES... WITH US, CANADA, UK, GERMANY, AUSTRALIA, JAPAN, CHINA, KOREA LEADING... TOO MANY LOVERS, HATERS TO THANK IN 16 YEARS SINCE HEADLINES STARTED TO FLY... AND SOMEHOW IT FEELS LIKE ITS ALL JUST BEGINNING!
OVER 9 BILLION SERVED!
'Megamind' Continues Box Office Reign With $30M
LOS ANGELES -- Will Ferrell's dastardly schemes continue to succeed, with the animated "Megamind" staying at the top of the box office.
The DreamWorks Animation 3-D comedy, featuring Ferrell as the voice of a super villain, made just over $30 million in its second week in theaters, according to Sunday studio estimates. It's now made nearly $90 million total. "Megamind" also features the voices of Brad Pitt, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill.
Opening in second place is the 20th Century Fox action thriller "Unstoppable," starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine as railroad workers trying to stop a massive runaway train. It made $23.5 million. The movie is based on a 2001 Ohio incident in which a train carrying hazardous cargo traveled 66 miles (106 kilometers) without a crew.
Last week's No. 2 film, "Due Date," fell to the third spot with $15.5 million. The Warner Bros. comedy features Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis as opposites stuck together on a cross-country road trip. It's now made $59 million in two weeks.
Among the weekend's other new releases, "Skyline" opened in fourth place with $11.7 million. The Universal Pictures sci-fi thriller depicts aliens invading and destroying Los Angeles. And "Morning Glory," a Paramount comedy set in a network morning show starring Rachel McAdams , Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton, opened at No. 5 with about $9.6 million.
Two Lessons. One, don’t throw darts at a hippo. Two, have a good friend who is brave standing by when violate rule one.
Dr Nico de Bruyn snatches Dr Markus Hofmeyr out of the way of a hippo in a pool in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. A hippopotamus went on the rampage and almost took a bite out of a vet at the Kruger National Park. Dr Markus Hofmeyr narrowly escaped with his life after the animal lunged after him and threw him into a shallow pool. He was saved by colleagues from the University of Pretoria's Mammal Research Institute, who grabbed Dr Hofmeyr by the arm and pulled him safely away from the irate behemoth. The incident occurred after the hippopotamus was darted in an attempt to test a new chemical for sedating the animals
The Chinese Plan To Crush American Power In KoreaNovember 15, 2010: U.S. military planners have discovered that China's current arsenal of non-nuclear ballistic and cruise missiles could probably knock out five of six major American air bases in Japanese and South Korea. Oops. To make matters worse, this has become an issue as North Korea stumbles towards political collapse, and China indicates that it will assume control in the north if that happens. South Korea believes it should move north to deal with a collapse, and this plan is becoming a contentious issue with China.
It's long been obvious that China planned a similar tactic against Taiwan. Wargames and detailed analysis of possible Chinese attacks on Taiwan, indicated that the basic Chinese missile attack strategy might work, and do so within days. The key to such a blitz is the 1,300 Chinese ballistic and cruise missiles. Most of these are based on the coast opposite Taiwan (180 kilometers away across the Taiwan Straits). The Chinese missiles carry one ton or half ton conventional (high explosive or cluster bomb) warheads, and were expected to be used to try and cripple Taiwanese air force and navy, as well as attacking headquarters and communications targets. Almost simultaneously, China would try to invade with airborne and amphibious forces.
Without those missiles, Taiwans's superior air and naval forces would make it very difficult, if not impossible, for the invasion force to cross the straits.
The Obama Administration recently handed out 111 Obamacare waivers to special US companies… And, they’re hiding this from the American public. It takes 6 clicks to find out this information on the government’s health care website.
Unfortunately, if you’re a small business or you don’t have the right connections you can’t get a waiver for your company.
That’s the new reality under the Obama-Pelosi regime.
“The bottom line here is that they gave out waivers is an admission of guilt. Basically they’re saying, “You’re right. We screwed up.” That’s the bottom line here. They did not create a law that benefits all of us.”
So who made the list so far?
The Service Employees Benefit Fund (#10 on list) with 1, 297 enrollees gained a health care waiver from the Obama Administration.
Lets’ see who else is on the list:
#12– UFCW Allied Trade Health & Welfare Trust
#14– IBEW No.915
#19– Asbestos Workers Local 53 Welfare Fund
#33– Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 123 Welfare Fund
#35– UFCW Local 227
#52– UFCW Maximus Local 455
#55– Local 25 SEIU
#60– UFCW Local 1262
#78– Local 802 Musicians Health Fund
#83– Local 17 Hospitality Benefit Fund
#89– International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT)
#91– Transport Workers
#92– UFT Welfare Fund (United Federation of Teachers)
Taiwanese researchers have stumbled onto something truly magical. When gold nanoparticles were introduced into Bacopa caroliniana plants they caused the chlorophyll to produce reddish light. Bye-bye street lights? But wait, there's more:
While lit, the glowing
trees vegetation consumed more carbon from the atmosphere than normal (i.e. the luminescence causes the cells to undergo photosynthesis).
PopSci calls this a "triple threat," in that the trees could cut energy costs, reduce global warming and keep streets safely lit at night. I'm more than inclined to agree.
The map above, from Strange Maps, shows Europe’s three ‘alcohol belts.’ The northernmost belt is for distilled spirits, the middle belt is for beer, and the southernmost belt is for wine.
The Wine Belt covers the southern parts of Europe, where wine has historically been an important industry and an everyday commodity: the whole of Portugal, Spain, Italy, Montenegro, Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova and Georgia; all but the northwestern zone of France; and significant parts of Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, and Romania.
The Beer Belt comprises areas where beer has been the alcoholic beverage of choice since times immemorial: Ireland and the UK, the Low Countries, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Bosnia and Albania; most of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia and Romania; and significant, western parts of Poland. Beer production requires the cultivation of cereals, so this is a climatic-agricultural precondition for the Beer Belt.
The Vodka Belt occupies what’s left of Europe, to the east and north: Scandinavia (except Denmark), Russia, the Baltics, Belarus, Ukraine and central and eastern Poland. There is a climatological imperative to the Vodka Belt: freezing temperatures make grape cultivation impossible (except in southernmost Russia and some areas of Ukraine). So there’s almost no overlap possible between the Vodka and Wine Belts. For cultural reasons, however, the Vodka Belt has been losing ground to the Beer Belt. Scandinavians tend to drink more beer than before (although possibly this doesn’t mean they drink less wodka).
Light to Moderate Drinking Linked to Fewer Heart Problems in Male Bypass Patients, Study Finds
ScienceDaily (Nov. 14, 2010) — Light to moderate alcohol consumption (about two to three drinks daily) among male coronary artery bypass patients was associated with 25 percent fewer subsequent cardiovascular procedures, heart attacks, strokes and death compared to non-drinkers, in a study presented at the American Heart's Association's Scientific Sessions 2010.