The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Washington Post: "California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Santa Barbara County late Wednesday after an onshore pipeline burst, spewing thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean — blackening beaches and endangering West Coast wildlife. The area, a popular camping spot some 20 miles from Santa Barbara, known for its palm tree-lined seashore and pristine surf, has been “closed indefinitely.” The extent of the damage is not known."

New York Times: "Islamic State militants on Thursday solidified their rout of Syrian government forces in the historic desert city of Palmyra, moving to the outskirts to seize its airport and the notorious Tadmur Prison, according to residents and statements from the group. It was the first time that the ISIS militants seized an entire city from Syrian government forces; it won control of its first major city, Raqqa, from Syrian insurgents and the Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front after the two became rivals."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post (May 22): "A salmonella outbreak that’s probably linked to raw tuna from sushi has sickened at least 53 people across nine states — the majority in Southern California, health authorities said."

White House Live Video
May 22

10:00 am ET: Vice President Biden speaks at the U.S. Naval Academy commencement ceremony (audio only)

11:00 am ET: President Obama speaks at the Jewish American Heritage Month celebration

12:30 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

***********************************************

Washington Post: "One of the earliest known copies of the Ten Commandments was written in soot on a strip of goatskin found among the trove of biblical material known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, widely considered to be one of the great archaeological finds of the 20th century. Penned on parchment by an unknown scribe more than 2,000 years ago, the scroll fragment is ... so fragile that its custodians rarely permit it to be moved from the secure vault where it rests in complete darkness. But for 14 days over the next seven months, the Ten Commandments scroll, known to scholars as 4Q41, will make a rare public appearance at the Israel Museum as part of a new exhibit called 'A Brief History of Humankind,' a show based on the international best-selling book by Israeli polymath Yuval Noah Harari."

Erik Loomis of LG&M: "It looks like Maggie Gyllenhaal has had her Last Fuckable Day at the ripe old age of 37:

... Sharon Waxman of the Wrap: "Every time we think things are getting better for women in Hollywood, something comes along to remind us — naaah. Maggie Gyllenhaal ... revealed that she was recently turned down for a role in a movie because she was too old to play the love interest for a 55-year-old man."

Emily Nussbaum of the New Yorker: "Now that [David] Letterman’s a flinty codger, an establishment figure, it’s become difficult to recall just how revolutionary his style of meta-comedy once felt. But back when I was sixteen, trapped in the snoozy early eighties and desperate for something rude and wild, Letterman seemed like an anarchist."

     ... Here's the Realtor.com page for the property.

AP: "The suburban New York home where F Scott Fitzgerald is believed to have written The Great Gatsby is for sale. A spokeswoman for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage said on Wednesday that the asking price for the manor home on Long Island was just over US$3.8m (A$4.8m).... The home is in the village of Great Neck Estates, about 20 miles (32km) from Manhattan.

After years of signing "-BO" at the end of @BarackObama to signal the tweets he crafted himself from an account operated by the Organizing for Action staff, the President now has his very own handle @POTUS, tweeting for the first time: 'Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account.'... Per a statement from the White House, the @POTUS handle 'will serve as a new way for President Obama to engage directly with the American people, with tweets coming exclusively from him.'"

The $5MM Ankle. New York Post: "Shakedown artist Al Sharpton’s eldest child wants $5 million from city taxpayers after she fell in the street and sprained her ankle, court rec­ords show. Dominique Sharpton, 28, says she was 'severely injured, bruised and wounded' when she stumbled over uneven pavement at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway downtown last year, according to a lawsuit."

My friend Jan C. sent me a list of actual complaints made by dissatisfied travelers who had gone on excursions organized by the British Thomas Cook Vacations. An example: "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."

New York Times: "The most striking geographical pattern on marriage, as with so many other issues today, is the partisan divide. Spending childhood nearly anywhere in blue America — especially liberal bastions like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington — makes people about 10 percentage points less likely to marry relative to the rest of the country. And no place encourages marriage quite like the conservative Mountain West, especially the heavily Mormon areas of Utah, southern Idaho and parts of Colorado." ...

Matt Seitz in New York notes that the pilot for "Mad Men" repeatedly points to the series' conclusion. ...

Gabriel Sherman of New York: "Tomorrow morning [Wednesday, May 13], in what marks a tectonic shift in the publishing industry, the New York Times is expected to officially begin a long-awaited partnership with Facebook to publish articles directly to the social media giant.... According to people familiar with the negotiations, the Times will begin publishing select articles directly into Facebook's news feed. Buzzfeed, NBC News and NatGeo are said to be also joining the roll out, among others. The deal raises all sorts of knotty questions for the Times." ...

... New York Times Update: "— Facebook’s long-rumored plan to directly host articles from news organizations will start on Wednesday, concluding months of delicate negotiations between the Internet giant and publishers that covet its huge audience but fear its growing power. Nine media companies, including NBC News and The New York Times, have agreed to the deal, despite concerns that their participation could eventually undermine their own businesses. The program will begin with a few articles but is expected to expand quickly.... Most important for impatient smartphone users, the company says, the so-called instant articles will load up to 10 times faster than they normally would since readers stay on Facebook rather than follow a link to another site." ...

.... Here's Facebook's announcement.

Nell Scovell in New York: Dave Letterman' former writers reminisce about jokes they wrote & pitched but which Letterman rejected. Letterman comments.

Vermeil placecard holders, a favorite "souvenir" of White House guests.... Washington Post: Petty thieves show up at White House state dinner -- all the time. Many guests at state dinners & other functions just can't resist taking home mementos, some of them pricey. "While the chief usher’s office monitors exactly what goes out with each place setting when the first family entertains, there is no formal accounting of how much taxpayers must pay each year to replace items that are gone by the end of the night."

Washington Post: The law finally catches up with Frank Freshwater, who escaped from prison in 1959.

Washington Post: Tesla plans to market a home battery system that draws power from solar panels or the power grid to use during outages. It holds up to 10 kw-hours, about 1/3 of what it takes to power an average home for a day. Tesla plans to make the system avalable by the end of this summer.

Conan O'Brien in Entertainment Weekly: "Not one single writer/performer in the last 35 years has had Dave [Letterman]’s seismic impact on comedy.... In today’s’ world of 30 late night programs, it’s tempting now to take Dave for granted. Do not. Dave was a true revolution.... Like all revolutions, it was such a seismic shift that it was disorienting and a bit messy at first, and it has taken us time to realize the sheer magnitude of the shift."

White House: "For a new state china service, First Lady Michelle Obama wanted it to have modern elements, but also for it to be practical, in the sense that it would be complementary to the preceding historic state services. The Obama State China Service consists of eleven-piece place settings for 320":

Timothy Simon of "Veep" gets ready to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, which is Saturday, April 25:

... Cecily Strong of “Saturday Night Live will headline the event.

MOOCS! Washington Post: For $45, anyone can become a freshman at Arizona State University. "Students can take classes online for a fee, then decide whether to pay reduced tuition for the credits."

The Sex Life of David Brooks is apparently intensely interesting to Villagers who do not participate in it.

Washington Post: "Gaioz Nigalidze’s rise through the ranks of professional chess began in 2007, the year the first iPhone was released. In hindsight, the timing might not be coincidental." During a competition in Dubai, the Georgian grandmaster allegedly hid an iPhone in the bathroom, then consulted a chess app during play.

CBS News: "'Face the Nation' Host Bob Schieffer announced Sunday that CBS News political director John Dickerson will become the new host of 'Face the Nation' this summer when he retires." CW: So "Face the Nation" is going to become even worse. Follows the well-established pattern of Sunday morning "news" shows.

New York Times: "Bob Schieffer, a television anchor who has worked at CBS for nearly half a century and interviewed every sitting president since Richard Nixon, announced Wednesday night that he was retiring this summer. Mr. Schieffer, 78, made the announcement while giving an address at Texas Christian University, his alma mater." CW: This will be a great disappointment to Charles Pierce, as regular readers of Pierce's posts will recognize.

I believe we are going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade and definitive evidence in the next 10 to 20 years.... We know where to look, we know how to look, and in most cases we have the technology.... We are not talking about little green men, Stofan said. "We are talking about little microbes. -- Ellen Stofan, chief scientist for NASA

It's definitely not an if, it's a when. -- Jeffery Newmark of NASA

... The L.A. Times story, from which the above citations come, is fascinating.

Washington Post: "The quote on the stamp originated with [Joan Walsh] Anglund.... 'Yes, that’s my quote,' Anglund said Monday night from her Connecticut home. It appears on page 15 of her book of poems 'A Cup of Sun,' published in 1967. Only the pronouns and punctuation are changed, from 'he' in Anglund’s original to 'it' on the stamp." CW: These are forever stamps. Maybe you should rush to the Post Office & buy a pane.

Guardian: "Allegations that a 17-year-old was forced to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew, which prompted a crisis at Buckingham Palace earlier this year, have been removed from a federal court case by a judge in the US. Judge Kenneth Marra ordered Virginia Roberts’s accusations about Andrew, the Duke of York, to be struck from the record and denied her attempt to join a lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of the prince and a convicted sex offender. 'At this juncture in the proceedings, these lurid details are unnecessary,' Marra wrote in his order, issued at the US district court in southern Florida on Tuesday morning.... Andrew and Buckingham Palace vehemently deny Roberts’s allegations."

Washington Monthly: "Today [April 7] marks the centennial of Billie Holliday’s birth."

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Wednesday
Apr182012

The Commentariat -- April 19, 2012

No commentary from me in today's New York Times eXaminer, but do go to the NYTX front page for some great pieces on Our Man Friedman. And thanks to Reality Chex reader Victoria D. for pointing us to the funniest one -- Jason Linkins' post on Friedman's self-parody. ...

... Also, Glenn Greenwald's column on MSM reviews of Julian Assange's new talk show on RT is a must-read. Keep in mind, though, as you read it that the Assange critics are opinionators, not reporters, and you should expect their opinions express personal biases. Greenwald presupposes these biases reflect the biases of the media outlets they write for, & he presents evidence that they do. But Greenwald -- like the Assange reviewers -- is presenting a case; his column is not a balanced report.

... Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post looks at a 2010 Pew Research poll: "Thurgood Marshall ... not only was never the Chief Justice but also died in 1993. And let’s not even talk about the four percent who think Harry Reid ... is the Chief Justice.... Regular people are simply not engaged — they don’t know or care — about the intricacies of the government." See also Alex Seitz-Wald's report, linked below, about the "regular people" -- presumably Republican regular people -- who gave Mitt Romney a polite earful. ...

... Meanwhile, Chief Justice Roberts & his conservative male allies on the Court are chip, chip, chipping away at women's equality in a way even former Chief Justice Rehnquist, a staunch conservative, did not. Ask Linda Greenhouse -- the old boys just don't get it. ...

... Elections Have Consequences. Dahlia Lithwick in Slate: in a remarkable concurrence in a case before the D.C. Court of Appeals, Judge Janice Rogers Brown injected a Tea Party screed belittling "democratic processes" (a term she put in quotes). "... what's interesting about the Brown concurrence isn’t that it expresses her long-held opinion that the Supreme Court has been dead wrong about economic liberty for 80 years, and that a return to the libertarian regime of the Lochner era, is overdue. The question is why she feels comfortable injecting this language into a judicial opinion — as opposed to a speech or legal article — in a call to the court to radically reverse course and dramatically curb the power of elected officials.... She is, beyond any doubt, apt to appear on any short list for Mitt Romney’s choice to replace any of the four Supreme Court Justices who are currently in their 70s."

While we're talking about other stuff, actual governance -- or what passes for it these days -- is happening in Washington. David Rogers of Politico: "The post-election budget wars suddenly felt closer Wednesday, as the White House threw down the gauntlet on appropriations and House Republicans voted to shift tens of billions of dollars from poverty programs to help stave off automatic cuts threatening the Pentagon in January....In its bluntest language to date, the administration said that President Barack Obama will not sign any new appropriations bills until the House Republican leadership moves back to the spending targets agreed to in last summer's debt accords."

Marshall Auerback of AlterNet in Salon: "You'll rarely hear this stated, but the government's ability to spend now is actually independent of how much debt it holds and what it spent yesterday.... In the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007..., the largest portion of the increase in the deficit came from what economists call 'automatic stabilizers' — things like unemployment benefits that have to kick in when a downturn occurs. They had little to do with discretionary spending.... The [Clinton] budget surplus meant that the private sector was running a deficit." CW: Auerback lost me on that last point; I'll see if I can contact him to clear it up.

Kaili Gray of Daily Kos: "Now that Republicans have flip-flopped on their decades-long denigration of mothers and decided that staying at home to raise children is work — or at least, it's work when Ann Romney does it; poor mothers, not so much — House Democrats are telling them to put their money where their mouth is." From Ryan Grim of the Huff Post, "The Woman's Option to Raise Kids (WORK) Act ... would allow mothers with children ages 3 and under to stay at home with their children and continue receiving benefits." ...

... David Dayen of Firedoglake: "The entire point of the Ann Romney hissy fit was that raising kids equals work and ought to be respected. Nobody disagreed with that idea. All this bill would do would be to codify that principle into law.... This solves a public policy problem as well.... Only 27% of families living in poverty can claim welfare benefits. And one of the major problems, outside of giving states flexibility to cull their welfare rolls, is the work requirement. This would help alleviate that problem for low-income mothers with newborn children... Mitt Romney said during the depressing Hilary Rosen kerfuffle that 'all moms are working moms.' Well, OK, let them prove it." ...

... Dana Milbank: "In the war against the war on women, the Democrats are taking no prisoners.... On Wednesday, the White House staged an event to demand that Republicans stop blocking a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act — and Republicans suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of a title that only a fool or a lunatic would oppose."

Andy Kroll of Mother Jones: ALEC, "the American Legislative Exchange Council..., is in damage control mode.... To push back, ALEC has turned to the conservative blogosphere for help.... Korb educated the bloggers with a handout listing ALEC's positions on a range of issues. PR Watch, one of ALEC's loudest critics, described the handout as 'riddled with errors.'"

Sister Act. Elizabeth Tenety of the Washington Post: "A Vatican investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an umbrella group representing 80 percent of Catholic sisters and nuns in the United States, found serious theological errors in statements by members, widespread dissent on the church's teaching on sexuality and 'radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith' a church report released Wednesday stated. The church appointed Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle to oversee 'reform' of the women's organization."

The Presidential Race

I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn't, either. But somebody gave us a chance. Just like these folks up here are looking for a chance. -- Barack Obama, to students in Ohio ...

Amanda Beadle of Think Progress: "During the GOP presidential primary, Mitt Romney staked out the most extreme position on immigration of any Republican candidate. Romney even campaigned with his immigration policy adviser Kris Kobach, the author of Alabama and Arizona's harsh immigration laws, on Martin Luther King Day. Now that Romney is the presumptive nominee, he's trying to soften his immigration rhetoric to win over Hispanic voters. The Romney campaign even tried to publicly downgrade Kobach from 'adviser' to mere 'supporter' [Tuesday] — an effort that failed after Kobach refused to play along." ...

     ... Tuesday Kobach told Alex Seitz-Wald of Think Progress, "No, my relationship with the campaign has not changed. Still doing the same thing I was doing before: ... providing advice on immigration policy. I don’t want to go into great detail, but I communicate regularly with senior members of Romney’s team." ...

     ... Greg Sargent: Kobach "stated flatly that he didn’t think Republicans — or Romney — should, or would, support any version of the DREAM Act that provides undocumented immigrants with any kind of path to legal status.... I’d absolutely reject any proposal that would give a path to legal status for illegal aliens en masse. That is what amnesty is. I do not expect [Romney] to propose or embrace amnesty." ...

     ... Markos Moulitsas: "Kris Kobach has a death grip on Romney's Etch-a-Sketch.You may not have heard of Kobach, but he is becoming a household name in the Latino community. He is Kansas' secretary of state, but more notoriously, one of the nation's foremost xenophobes and a key player in the hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform.... Kobach has seriously damaged Romney's general election chances by becoming a lightning rod in the Latino community, yet when the nominee tries to distance himself now that the primaries are over, Kobach will tell anyone who's listening that the Romney campaign is lying and that he's just as important to them as ever, and he'll say it again, and again, and again."

E. J. Dionne: "... a study released this week by the Center for American Progress ... demonstrates conclusively that the ruckus over Ann Romney’s decisions is 30 years out of date. Its core conclusion: 'Most children today are growing up in families without a full-time, stay-at-home caregiver.' ... These changes are driven more by economics than by any of the mommy-war issues.... When trying to win votes from religious and social traditionalists, conservatives speak as if they want to restore what they see as the glory days of the 1950s family. But they are reluctant to acknowledge that it was the high wages of (often unionized) workers that underwrote these arrangements."

** You think Mitt Romney doesn't "get" women now? He never did. In fact, talking to women is against his religious beliefs. That's why he lets Ann do it. Irin Carmon of Salon interviews Mormon feminist Judy Dushku. who so irritated the Romneys in the '90s that the church gerrymandered its wards to put the Romneys & Dushku in different wards.

Alex Seitz-Wald: "As part of his attempt to appear more relateable, presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney sat with a handful of regular, working Americans in Pennsylvania today.... But the Romney campaign may not have vetted the attendees to make sure they were sufficiently anti-tax.... One woman ... said she was scared about the fate of her public schools, given deep cuts to the state budget (incidentally, the man who pushed those cuts, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, endorsed Romney today).... Another man chimed in, noting that 'the fat' had already been trimmed and now important education programs were being hit." With video. CW: these seem like sincere, normal people who obviously have no idea that it is their own party that is making all these cuts in education. ...

     ... Update: the party affiliations of the participants was "not specified."

Marry up, ladies!

Noah Rothman of Mediaite: "A long-overlooked passage in President Barack Obama’s 2004 book, Dreams From my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, has been uncovered and has ignited a firestorm of hilarity among conservatives on Twitter and other social networks. The passage includes the President talking about his experience as a boy in Indonesia when he was introduced to a variety of exotic meats including grasshopper, snake and – the coup de grâce – dog." ...

It seems desperate for the Romney campaign to bring up something that happened to Obama when he was 10 years old, not preparing his own meals, in a country where eating dog meat probably isn't all that unusual as if it compares in any way to Romney, as a 36-year old adult, in America, making the conscious decision to strap his family pet to the roof of a car for a 12-hour drive, and leaving it up there even after it got sick. If President Obama had made the conscious decision to eat dog meat as a 36-year old adult, in America, claimed the dog liked being eaten, and still claimed he didn’t think there was anything wrong with it, the Romney campaign would have a point. -- Scott Crider, of Dogs Against Romney

 ... Dave Weigel: the Romney camp's participation in the "dogmeat" story is a Romney dog whistle to the conservative base.

Right Wing World *

This election is going to be a referendum on the president's economic policies. They've not only not helped the economy, they've actually made it worse. When you look at his higher taxes, his refusal to deal with the debt, the regulatory regime here in Washington out of control, they've scared every businessperson and investor in America. -- John Boehner, yesterday on CBS

... Steve Benen: Boehner is "the Speaker of the House, so presumably he has some general appreciation for acknowledging current events, which would mean he realizes none of his talking points is true. While Boehner talks about Obama's 'higher taxes,' Obama has actually cut taxes. While Boehner said Obama has refused to deal with the debt, Obama offered Boehner a $4 trillion debt-reduction plan that Republicans rejected. While Boehner frets over a 'regulatory regime,' Obama has actually created fewer regulations than his Republican predecessor. And then there's the notion that Obama made the economy 'worse.'"

* Where you couldn’t find a rational argument with a Geiger counter. Hey, you couldn't even find a Geiger counter. -- Akhilleus

Local News

Lizette Alvarez of the New York Times: "Ushered in amid promises that it would save taxpayers money and deter drug users, a Florida law requiring drug tests for people who seek welfare benefits resulted in no direct savings, snared few drug users and had no effect on the number of applications, according to recently released state data." For background on the impetus for legislating drug-testing in Florida, this Palm Beach Post story from March 2011 is helpful. After the Post exposed Gov. Rick Scott's continuing financial interest in a company that provides drug-testing, the Scott family was embarrassed into selling their interest in April 2011.

John Frank of the Raleigh, North Carolina, News & Observer: "A former staffer accused the state Democratic Party's executive director of showing him a picture of male genitals, caressing his leg and discussing his sexual exploits.... The lascivious details magnified the spectacle embarrassing the state Democratic Party in an election year and came just days before President Barack Obama is expected to visit North Carolina."

News Ledes

Bloomberg News: "More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the improvement in labor-market conditions may be stalling. Jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 386,000 in the week ended April 14 from a revised 388,000 the prior period that was higher than initially estimated...." ...

... Bloomberg News: "Sales of previously owned U.S. homes in March unexpectedly fell for the third time in the last four months, showing an uneven recovery in the housing market."

Washington Post: "The CIA is seeking authority to expand its covert drone campaign in Yemen by launching strikes against terrorism suspects even when it does not know the identities of those who could be killed...."

New York Times: "The Department of Veterans Affairs will announce on Thursday that it plans to hire about 1,600 additional psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other mental health clinicians in an effort to reduce long wait times for services at many veterans medical centers."

New York Times: "India said Thursday it had successfully launched a missile with nuclear capability and a 3,100-mile range, giving it the ability to strike Beijing and Shanghai. With the successful launching of the missile, called Agni 5, India joins a small group of countries with long-range nuclear missile capability, including China, Britain, France, Russia and the United States."

ABC OTUS News: "Secret Service officials planning a wild night of fun in Colombia did some of their own advanced work last week, booking a party space at the Hotel Caribe before heading out to the night clubs, hotel sources tell ABC News."

AP: "Two years after the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, scientists say they're finding trouble with sick fish that dwell along offshore reefs and in the deep waters — especially in places where the oil spill hit the hardest." ...

... Al Jazeera: "Gulf of Mexico fishermen, scientists and seafood processors have told Al Jazeera they are finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab and fish that they believe are deformed by chemicals released during BP's 2010 oil disaster. Along with collapsing fisheries, signs of malignant impact on the regional ecosystem are ominous: horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, eyeless crabs and shrimp - and interviewees' fingers point towards BP's oil pollution disaster as being the cause."

Al Jazeera: "Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has called for a UN observer mission in Syria to be expanded, even though he says Damascus has failed to adhere to a ceasefire central to an agreed peace plan."

Reuters: "The police said on Thursday they had arrested three people at addresses in Kent and Lancashire in their investigation into allegations of payments by journalists to police and public officials. Sky News, which is partly owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, said Duncan Larcombe, royal editor on Murdoch's Sun newspaper, was one of those arrested." ...

... Guardian: "News Cororation is a 'toxic institution' that operated like a 'shadow state' in British society, according to a Labour MP who is the co-author of a new book about the phone-hacking scandal. Tom Watson, joint writer of Dial M for Murdoch, said that the book also featured allegations that Murdoch's News of the World set out to search for 'secret lovers' or 'extramarital affairs' of MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee in 2009."

Reader Comments (9)

"Regular people are simply not engaged — they don’t know or care — about the intricacies of the government." Not quite complete. There is also the very substantial group that deliberately hides from the truth. I mean if scientists got the climate thing right, they may have gotten the evolution thing right too.

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

Marvin,

Come on now. You gotta realize that even th' idea of climate is just a theory. It's just like weather. I mean, if it rains today and it's sunny tomorrow, who knows how that happens? It's a mystery. It's just like that nice Bill O'Reilly always says: the tide goes in, the tide goes out. Who can explain it?

Same thing with evolution. I mean, who was Darwin anyway? Was he Jesus? No. Was he Ronald Reagan? No. Just some weird guy with a big beard and weirdo ideas. Monkeys! Hmmph...He wasn't even from the US of A! It's just his word against everyone else in which case he loses 'cause we didn't vote for his stupid monkey idea, and that's the 'Merican Way!

We just all need to have more faith and a lot less 'science'. That science stuff will fill your head with all kinds of stuff you don't need. Pretty soon, you'll be believin' that Paul Ryan doesn't know what he's doin' when he talks 'bout the 'conomy. You might even think it's not a good idea for children to bring guns to school! Why, they'll be UNPROTECTED!

And by the way, I happen to know that Harry Reid is NOT the big guy justice on the court. He's just one of the little guys. Nancy Pelosi tried to get elected to S'preme Court but only commies voted for her so she had to stay governor of Commie-fornia. Heh-heh.

See, you think libruls are the only smart people? Go do things to yourself, you elitist pinkos!

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Well, well, the left has gone apoplectic over Freidman's column yesterday and it's our good fortune that the NYTEX is running a slew of them including Marie's instructive Biblical analogy. My own reading of Freidman was of stunned disbelief. I said many moons ago that he reminded me of a slick salesman––the one who sold me a complete set of pot and pans that I didn't need––maybe it's the cadence of his speech pattern; maybe it's that he repeats and repeats, but seldom repents. Luckily I found the little gem that ole Tommy follows faithfully:

Isaiah 55.7: And the Lord spake: Go dwell in the Wall of the Mart and there doth purchase loose boxers; a pox on tightie whities for those doth squeeze thy jewel case. Go forth in colorful Hanes to swing freely in order to spread thy seed of propaganda to all who come forth and devour thy word.

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

To sum it up, I have a sign on my work office door, 'Don't worry what people think, They don't do it very often".

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

I voted for Nancy Pelosi for Supreme Court Chief Justice. If she didn't win it would prove "democratic processes" don't work. But she won, didn't she? Also, somebody should tell Allen West I am not a commie just because I helped make Nancy top judge. And Akhilleus, you should check your facts before writing these comments. Finally, I am with the 4 percent who think Harry Reid is very judge-mental. But this a democracy one-woman/one-vote so I had to vote for the woman. Sorry, Harry.

April 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

It is 2012 and everything is good. The fifty four percent of the population that does not know who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are going to learn.
Nothing sharpens the senses like fear and hunger. Someone will be leading them in the streets and teach them the proper chants demanding change. Many will learn first aid and some will hide and cower before the powers of the police state.
Our present situation is:" You can't get there from here ." There is no plan, scheme, program in the works from either party to restore jobs, demand and growth to America. Just a few years of Tea Party, reverse Robin Hood, economics will devastate America and at least one third of the population will be damaged.
We will start from there. The fifty four percent will either be more politically sophisticated or peons forever. The one percent thinks "peons forever".

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlyle

@Carlyle. Actually, about 3/4ths of people didn't know who the Chief Justice was in 2010. Only 28 percent answered the question correctly, & because it was a multiple-choice test, some percentage of those would have been lucky or educated guesses. (I don't know how to do probabilities so I'll have to leave that to a wiser mind.)

Plus, I don't think people with pitchforks are all that interested in the niceties of how to properly address the guy they are about to prod.

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Burns

If they're trading dog insults what about the Romney buddy who barbequed one with his drunken friends, eh?

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGail

@Gail. Thanks. I never heard the story about Mitt's buddy and the dog BBQ. It seems Mitt & the guy -- GOP fundraiser Fred Malek -- are so close, Malek hosted Ann Romney's birthday party a few days ago. Elspeth Reeve of The Atlantic has the story here.

Marie

April 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader
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