|I ain't right|
|I disagree with your thesis. Boom.|
And then there was James Holmes, who shot up a movie theater in Colorado. This was taken after he'd had a chance to clean up a bit:
|Red isn't my color anyway|
Crazy people do crazy things.
|I ain't right|
|I disagree with your thesis. Boom.|
|Red isn't my color anyway|
|A bridge too Fahr|
|The best part is glob of paprika at the bottom of the taters|
|Back for a visit|
|Enjoying a commemorative Newport Light for the occasion|
|You are correct, sir!|
Analysts at U.S. Central Command were pressured to ease off negative assessments about the Islamic State threat and were even told in an email to “cut it out,” Fox News has learned – as an investigation expands into whether intelligence reports were altered to present a more positive picture.As the Bush administration found out to its great pain, it's never a good idea to piss off the analysts, because they will make their displeasure public, just as has happened here. But there's more to the story, especially this:
Fox News is told by a source close to the CENTCOM analysts that the pressure on them included at least two emails saying they needed to “cut it out” and “toe the line.”
Separately, a former Pentagon official told Fox News there apparently was an attempt to destroy the communications. The Pentagon official said the email warnings were "not well received" by the analysts.
The former Pentagon official said there were “multiple assessments” from military intelligence and the CIA regarding the “rapid rise” of ISIS in Iraq and North Africa in the year leading up to the group’s territory grab in 2014.Are we ready to start the "Obama lied, people died" chants yet?
Similar intelligence was included in the President’s Daily Brief, or PDB – the intelligence community’s most authoritative product -- during the same time period. Yet the official, who was part of the White House discussions, said the administration kept "kicking the can down the road." The official said there was no discussion of the military involvement needed to make a difference.
The IG probe started earlier this year amid complaints that information was changed to make ISIS look more degraded than it really was.
The U.S. State Department issued a rare worldwide travel alert on Monday, warning American travelers about the widespread threats posed by members of the Islamic State or copycat bombers.To underscore, this is a worldwide alert. I don't expect Boko Haram to show up in my living room, but apparently, you never know.
The alert said that there were increased terror threats from al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and ISIL, the term used by the federal government for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which has claimed responsibility for the Paris terrorist attacks. The alert also said people unaffiliated with the groups may be inspired by recent terrorist attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey and Mali.
The alert comes as millions of Americans prepare to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, and organizers of major events like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade bolster their security preparations.
Five protesters were shot late Monday night near the Black Lives Matter encampment at the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis, according to police.I do hope the police find the perps and that the criminal justice system deals with the shooter(s) expeditiously. We'll keep following the story.
Those who were shot sustained non-life-threatening injuries, said police spokesman John Elder in a statement.
Miski Noor, a media contact for Black Lives Matter, said “a group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights.”
One of the three counterdemonstrators wore a mask, said Dana Jaehnert, who had been at the protest site since early evening.
When about a dozen protesters attempted to herd the group away from the area, Noor said, they “opened fire on about six protesters,” hitting five of them. Jaehnert said she heard four gunshots.
|Just born and already bringing the HYYYYYPPPPPPE!|
|I like Newports|
The biggest U.S. health insurer said it has suffered major losses on policies sold on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges and will consider withdrawing from them, adding to worries about the future of the marketplaces at the heart of the Obama administration’s signature health law.It's big news if UHG is thinking about getting out, but the key player to watch is Blue Cross/Blue Shield. UHG's primary business involves group plans for employers and while they are a significant player in the market, BC/BS is much more important. Having said that, these comments should cause you to raise your eyebrows:
The disclosure by UnitedHealth Group Inc., which had just last month sounded optimistic notes about the segment’s prospects, is the latest sign that many insurers are finding the new business unprofitable, despite an influx of customers that has helped swell revenues.
UnitedHealth Group Chief Executive Stephen J. Hemsley said the company isn’t willing to continue its losses into 2017. UnitedHealth has already locked in its exchange offerings for 2016, but it is pulling back on marketing them during the current open-enrollment period to limit membership, which it said last month totaled around 550,000.And the reason it's not sustaining itself? Don't tell me, lemme guess:
The company will make market-by-market determinations in the first half of next year about whether it will continue selling products on the exchanges.
“We can’t sustain these losses,” he said. “We can’t subsidize a market that doesn’t appear at this point to be sustaining itself.”
Mr. Hemsley emphasized problems with consumers “coming in and out of the exchange system to use medical services,” or essentially signing up for health plans when they need to cover health expenses—an issue also highlighted by other insurers.If it's possible to game the system, people will do it. And why wouldn't they? The law makes it possible, which is why, for some people, it makes more sense to pay the individual mandate fine and sign up for insurance only when you need it. Heckuva plan, folks.
Men shouting "God is great" and armed with guns and throwing grenades stormed into the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali's capital Friday morning and seized 170 hostages.We haven't given Mali much thought over the past few years. I remember Mitt Romney talking about the country in the 2012 presidential debates and earning a fair amount of derision as a result; then again, everything Romney said seemed to earn derision. And, as usual, Romney was correct, because the northern part of Mali has been a stronghold for terrorists, despite the intervention of -- wait for it -- the French in 2013.
The U.S. Embassy in Mali asked citizens to shelter in place amid reports of an "ongoing active shooter operation" at the hotel in Bamako. People in the area ran for their lives along a dirt road as a soldier in full combat gear them to safety.
Malian army commander Modibo Nama Traore said 10 gunmen stormed the hotel shouting "Allahu Akbar," or "God is great," in Arabic before firing on the guards and taking hostages. The Brussels-based Rezidor Hotel group that operates the hotel said the assailants have "locked in" 140 guests and 30 employees.
|A horrifying fate|
|So where are the women and children?|
|Women and children galore|
|Lemme get in on this selfie|
|Clothes make the man|
“We just want some answers,” said Draper Larkins. “The federal investigation might get answers. But we want the correct answers.”I'm not sure who Draper Larkins is. The Star Tribune article, written by Erin Golden, really doesn't tell us. The topic at hand is the shooting of Jamar Clark in North Minneapolis over the weekend. A member of the police shot Clark. Clark was, depending on whose version of events you believe, either a bad dude who was interfering with first responders who were attending to his girlfriend, or a guy who was executed in cold blood. At last report, Clark was on life support, but some reports indicate the family is taking him off life support. We don't really know.
Nicaragua dispatched its military and police to help close its southern border in a dispute with Costa Rica over the passage of Cuban migrants on their way to the U.S.Wait -- why would we need to take on more Cubans? I thought we'd reestablished diplomatic relations with Cuba and all that was better now. Weird.
Costa Rica’s decision on Saturday to grant seven-day transit visas to 1,200 Cuban migrants who entered the country through Panama “violated national sovereignty,” Nicaragua’s government said in a statement over the weekend. Nicaraguan troops and riot police fired tear gas at people attempting to enter on Sunday in what Costa Rica called a "humanitarian crisis."
Authorities re-opened the border Monday morning to tourists and merchants. Some 450 Cuban migrants were transferred to shelters in Costa Rica while the rest remained at the border checkpoint. Nicaragua’s ambassador to the United Nations, Maria Rubiales, said Monday that Costa Rica had violated the UN Charter and international law by not consulting Nicaragua over the passage of the migrants.
Earlier today, I posted a piece concerning some silly behavior at Claremont McKenna College in California. I titled the blog post using the term unspeakable evil. That was tongue in cheek.
What happened today on the streets of Paris actually was unspeakable evil. We saw coordinated terrorist attacks that it appears have killed at least 150 people. The terrorists killed their victims without remorse and indiscriminately. This was barbarism.
It is easy, probably too easy, to cast aspersions upon the French people. Goodness knows that I have done so on this blog over the years. We will now see the resolve of the French people as they deal with the aftermath of this horrific attack.
I'm reasonably certain that we will see a response that is resolute and ruthless. The French protect their own and they will do so without remorse. I am praying for the victims of these attacks. I understand why people are skeptical of European resolve in the face of barbarism. This day, we saw something horrible happen in one of the great cities of the world. Now we will see if we are capable of a response.
|The horror, the horror|
The photo began to circulate on Sunday morning after CMC junior Casey Garcelon ‘17 reposted the picture as her cover photo on Facebook with the message: “Dear Claremont community, For anyone who ever tries to invalidate the experiences of POC at the Claremont Colleges, here is a reminder of why we feel the way we do. Don’t tell me I’m overreacting, don’t tell me I’m being too sensitive. My voice will not be silenced. I’m mentally drained from being a part of this community and I’ve had enough. If you feel uncomfortable by my cover photo, I want you to know I feel uncomfortable as a person of color everyday on this campus.”Okay, we won't tell you you're overreacting. I do think others at Claremont McKenna are overreacting:
Claremont McKenna College’s dean of students resigned Thursday amid protests over racial tensions on the campus, the same day student demonstrations roiled more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide.I have no idea what the CMC mold is. I would not be surprised if Spellman didn't really know, either. It doesn't really matter. She is not allowed to say anything that might cause offense to those whose voices will not be silenced.
Dean Mary Spellman at Claremont McKenna stepped down after she sparked a campus protest and hunger strikes by two students this week over her email to a Latina student saying she would work to serve those who “don’t fit our CMC mold.”
We are disappointed in the fact that your movement has successfully managed to convince its members that anyone who dissents does so not for intelligent reasons, but due to moral failure or maliciousness. We are disappointed that you’ve used phrases like “silence is violence” to not only demonize those who oppose you, but all who are not actively supporting you. We are most disappointed, however, in the rhetoric surrounding “safe spaces.” College is the last place that should be a safe space. We come here to learn about views that differ from our own, and if we aren’t made to feel uncomfortable by these ideas, then perhaps we aren’t venturing far enough outside of our comfort zone. We would be doing ourselves a disservice to ignore viewpoints solely on the grounds that they may make us uncomfortable, and we would not be preparing ourselves to cope well with adversity in the future. Dealing with ideas that make us uncomfortable is an important part of growing as students and as people, and your ideas will inhibit opportunities for that growth.
After desperately trying to gin up media coverage of student protests at the University of Missouri, one of the school’s media professors is now furiously trying to “muscle” the press off campus to prevent them from covering student protests that rapidly spiraled out of control Monday.
Mizzou president Timothy Wolfe announced his resignation on Monday after members of the school’s 4-5 football team announced they would boycott team activities unless the school acceded to certain demands surrounding racial equality. Unsurprisingly, Wolfe’s resignation did little to quell the mob.
On Monday afternoon, activists who had demanded Wolfe’s resignation abruptly demanded that media stop covering their activities on the public campus of the taxpayer-funded university. At the center of those demands was Melissa Click, an assistant professor of mass media within Mizzou’s communications department.
Drop in on any left-leaning web site or “alternative” newspaper and you’ll notice a proliferation of profanity, of course the movies and television shows that the vast west wing of Hollywood produces are full of foul language, a similar vulgarity seems to pervade the conversations of most of our liberal friends, even the Vice President of the United States felt compelled drop an “F-bomb” to commemorate the passage of Obamacare, and this isn’t the first time that children have been dragged into it. The left regards cussing as authentically proletarian, even though the authentic proletariat is still saying grace before a meal and washing its kids’ mouths out with soap for such outbursts, and it fancies itself bravely defying the stultifying conventions of bourgeois society, even though it’s been a long time since the martyrdom of Lenny Bruce and by now what’s left of bourgeois society is no longer capable of stultifying even the most obnoxious behaviors.A good observation. Here's even a better one:
Our newly-won freedom to spew curse words might be considered a small and insignificant expansion of liberty, but it’s hardly ample compensation for all the restrictions that the left wants to impose. Everything from %&*# to *+$@ is now allowed in the public square, but all sorts of formerly useful and respectable terms are now forbidden in polite company. “He” is an offensive word if used in reference to men who consider themselves women, “merit” and “hard work” are considered racist code in the more refined quarters of academia, of course “illegal immigrant” is not allowed to describe an immigrant who has entered the country illegally, and in the Democratic presidential race presumptive candidate Hillary Clinton is accusing pesky challenger and self-described socialist — which was formerly a dirty word — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders of being racist for using the word “urban” in their ongoing gun control debate. Try injecting any honest acknowledgment of the higher rate of criminal activity in certain communities into that debate or the related arguments over the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the police, and you’ll find that the certain points of view are now out of bounds no matter how profanely phrased. Anything having to do with sex, of course, is similarly constrained by the new rules of polite discourse.I've been known to curse. I'm glad my comments aren't generally recorded for posterity when someone cuts me off on 35W, pretty much an everyday occurrence. I don't feel good about it, though. Norman's larger point about control of the language isn't new, but he states it well. I recommend his work. You can find the link to his blog, Central Standard Times, on the sidebar of this feature.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who is a numbers guy, should have the CBO rescore Obamacare as it is actually being implemented, incorporating not only the proposed Cadillac-tax repeal but also the effects of enrollment numbers that are lower than projected — current expectations are that 2016 will see about half the enrollments originally estimated. The result will be not billions but hundreds of billions of dollars in additional deficits. Let Herself defend that on the campaign trail this year, or let that batty old loon from Vermont try to convince the public that all that lost revenue can be made up by raising taxes on 400 guys in Manhattan. By all means, let’s have that fight.It's also, without question, the discussion we need to be having. While it's always fun to discuss Ben Carson's CV, what happens with Obamacare matters a lot more.
"Let me say something that may not be great politics, but the secretary is right. The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!" Sanders said to thunderous applause.Bernie wants to talk about the issues, you see. That's not how it works, though. Team Clinton pocketed that gift and then gave ol' Bernie the what-for by branding his campaign as sexist:
The once respectful Democratic primary has devolved into a slugfest about gender, with Hillary Clinton surrogates expressing outrage over how Bernie Sanders is conducting his campaign — even calling for him to fire his staff over alleged sexist remarks.Once you let the Clintons define what the acceptable parameters of discourse are, you lose. This show has been going on for nearly a quarter century now. You'd think Bernie would have figured that out before he decided to campaign. I've long thought that Bernie Sanders really doesn't want to be president. He's going to get his wish.
The ugly dispute has knocked Sanders back on his heels, and placed him on the defensive — an unaccustomed position for a progressive who describes himself as a feminist. And it’s sent a signal flare to Republicans, who have been reminded of the pitfalls of using the wrong language when taking on Clinton — and also of her campaign’s ability to turn it to her advantage.
“I’m stunned that a man like Bernie Sanders, who has clearly committed his life to making the country a better place, would get sucked into this very dangerous rhetoric, which perpetuates sexist and misogynistic stereotypes,” fumed Christine Quinn, the former New York City Council speaker who sits on Clinton’s New York Leadership Council and does fundraising for her campaign. “The candidate is supposed to set the tone, set the agenda. If Bernie Sanders does not want to be seen as someone who uses sexist language and perpetuates a dangerous sexist stereotype of strong women, then he should tell his people to stop. And if they don’t stop, he should fire them.”
"I think it is fair to say that I believe I can bring the country together more effectively than [Hillary Clinton] can," Obama said. "I will add, by the way, that is not entirely a problem of her making. Some of those battles in the '90s that she went through were the result of some pretty unfair attacks on the Clintons. But that history exists, and so, yes, I believe I can bring the country together in a way she cannot do. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't be running."Barack Obama, 2015:
President Barack Obama tore into Republican presidential candidates Monday night at a Democratic fundraising event in New York, saying their complaints about CNBC's debate moderation aren't an encouraging preview for their governing abilities.Hope and change, baby!
"Have you noticed that everyone of these candidates say, 'Obama's weak. Putin's kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he's going to straighten out,'" Obama said, impersonating a refrain among Republican candidates that he's allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin too much leeway.
"Then it turns out they can't handle a bunch of CNBC moderators at the debate. Let me tell you, if you can't handle those guys, then I don't think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you," Obama said.
Rula Rashid, a U finance major who is president of Students for Justice in Palestine, defended the protest. “The most patriotic thing you can do is protest something that shouldn’t be happening on your campus,” she said.Are we to assume that the only things that should happen on a college campus are things that pass muster with Rula Rashid? I hope Univerity of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has Rashid on the ol' speed dial, because he's going to have to double check the calendar on a few things.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.The results are in for the municipal elections in New Brighton. A screen shot from the Secretary of State's election web page:
-- H. L. Mencken
|Good heavens, we've been Menckened!|
If you want a free-spending, liberal city government, you should support Val Johnson for mayor and Mary Burg and Paul Jacobsen for city council. You will get a bigger government and can safely assume that your property taxes will rise, perhaps significantly, over the next two years.I stand by that prediction.
Republican voters are fed up. They were told: “We need to win the House to block Obama!” So they elected a Republican House — and nothing changed. Then they were told: “That’s not good enough, we need to win the Senate, too.” So they elected a Republican Senate. And the result is this budget capitulation.That's columnist Marc Thiessen, generally conservative. And he's right. You can see a significant mismatch between the Republicans who walk around in Washington and the people who send them there.
The message to the grassroots is clear: Elected Republicans care more about their own preservation than they care about principle.
If the Republican establishment wonders why Donald Trump has been surging in the polls, they need only look in the mirror. They are the Dr. Frankensteins that created the Trump monster that is now wreaking havoc on the GOP village. They have no one to blame but themselves.