Jul
28
2014
1
Jul
28
2014
6

No Labels (remember them?) quietly starting to suck up to the GOP.

I should be appalled at the sight of a notoriously faux-disinterested group like No Labels behaving in such a shamelessly sycophantic fashion:

“Should the balance of power in the U.S. Senate flip following the 2014 midterm elections and Republicans gain control, No Labels sees an opportunity to bridge the gap between Congress and the White House,” the document reads in its “Break Through Strategy” section. “With Republicans holding control of both chambers in Congress and a Democrat in the White House, the likelihood of gridlock will be higher than ever before.

“We have already begun back door conversations with Senate leaders to discuss this increasingly likely scenario,” the document continues.

[snip]

…to openly discuss its role in a future, hypothetical Republican-led Congress is especially unusual, given that of the 10 senators who belong to No Labels, three — Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Warner of Virginia — are embroiled in difficult re-election races and might have to lose in order for the GOP to take back the Senate.

(more…)

Jul
28
2014
14

In which we revisit Rathergate, and the bad movie about to be made of it.

Hey, remember that stupid, incredibly ham-handed, and only-an-drooling-idiot-would-fall-for-it Rathergate scandal?  Well, in case you were a teenager in 2004 and missed it…

:pause:  God preserve us, it really was a decade ago, huh?  I didn’t have kids then.  I wasn’t married, then.  Shoot, I was still smoking.

…anyway: CBS got a bunch of documents purporting to show that George W Bush went AWOL from the Texas National Guard and that people covered it up, because shut up you Republicans.  Dan Rather (remember him?) promptly ran with the story, because if the documents were true it’d have been a bombshell.  Only problem was that these documents were fakes: they were originally written in Microsoft Word 2003 and then made to look like documents from the 1970s*.  Once this was pointed out CBS ended up giving Rather (and, importantly for this article, his producer Mary Mapes) the bum’s rush. (more…)

Jul
28
2014
4

To quote Charlie Stross, I failed to save vs. shiny.

Ayup.  Amazon Fire Phone.

Because, hey, I don’t have nearly enough ways to be connected to the World-Mind.

Jul
28
2014
11

Quote of the day, “a brooding and pervasive devotion to the secular” edition.

The US Court of Appeals, in the process of telling a bunch of insecure atheists* why they should sit down and shut up about the 9-11 Cross:

In short, neutrality is not so rigid and absolute a principle as to command “a brooding and pervasive devotion to the secular.”

(more…)

Jul
28
2014
1

xkcd might have a point, here.

I have to admit: the sketch and the photo do match up fairly well.

Written by in: Not-politics | Tags:
Jul
28
2014
19

I need a recommendation on a portable power pack for a CPAP.

I’m going camping, I have sleep apnia, and I need something that can provide power overnight for a 120-240v ~ 50/60Hz, 2.1A [12V - 5.0 A] device.  Assume that I can recharge during the day from a power socket.  Please bear in mind that while I know that V = volts, Hz = Hertz, and A presumably = amps, my eyes will glaze over when we go deeper into those weeds (I have apparently subconsciously decided that anything engineering-related is to be filed under ‘let my wife take point on that’).  The more it costs, the harder it will be for me to justify spending the money, although a portable power pack isn’t a bad thing to have around the house generally.

Available on Amazon?  Definite plus.  I need this before the end of the week.

Jul
27
2014
0
Jul
27
2014
10

Hillary Clinton shows the anti-Bush Left the Hawaiian Good-Luck Symbol.

I do not believe that Hillary Clinton actually believes this, but I do believe that she believes that she needs to act like she believes this. (more…)

Jul
27
2014
9

Tel Aviv antiwar rally prematurely ended by resumption of Hamas rocket attacks.

You can’t make stuff like this up.

Several thousand left-wing activists gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday evening, calling for an end to bloodshed in the Gaza Strip and a return to negotiations with the Palestinians.

So, yeah, how did that go?

The demonstrations were cut short when Hamas unilaterally ended a humanitarian truce with Israel and resumed rocket-fire from Gaza.

(more…)

Jul
27
2014
3

Contra USA Today, the shrinking of Obamacare networks is not a surprise.

The USA Today article itself is fine enough…

Nancy Pippenger and Marcia Perez live thousands of miles apart but have the same complaint: Doctors who treated them last year won’t take their insurance now, even though they haven’t changed insurers.

[snip]

Both women unwittingly enrolled in policies with limited networks of doctors and hospitals that provide little or no payment for care outside those networks. Such plans existed before the health law, but with its expansion of insurance, they are covering more people — and some are shrinking enrollees’ options further than before. The policies’ limitations have come as a surprise to some enrollees used to broader job-based coverage or to plans they held before the law took effect.

…but the title (“Surprise! New health plans’ limitations anger enrollees”) bugs me.  Specifically, the surprise part.  You see… (more…)

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