Wednesday, October 29, 2014
White House in Denial: President Obama Is Costing Democrats Control of the Senate - NationalJournal.com
October 29, 2014 White House officials are preemptively spinning a midterm defeat, and they're using their own fantasies to do it. They're starting to blame candidates for not supporting President Obama enough. As a top White House official told The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty, "He doesn't think they have any reason to run away from him. He thinks there is a strong message there."
Overweight crash test dummies being developed in response to rising obesity levels in the United States | abc13.com
Humanetics is a Plymouth, Michigan-based company that has been developing crash test dummies since the 1950s. But the image and model of a crash test dummy hasn't changed much throughout those decades, so now Humanetics is developing a heftier crash test dummy to better represent growing obesity trends in the U.S.
North Carolina teacher has sex with student, gets tattoo with 15-year-old girl’s initials and likeness: cops - NY Daily News
A North Carolina teacher accused of having sex with a high school student in a ménage à trois with her husband also got a tattoo with 15-year-old girl’s initials and likeness, police allege.
I don't really understand what happened, but the tattoo is a nice touch. The husband undoubtedly has a goatee.
A father of eight explains why he hasn’t saved a penny for his kids’ college education - The Washington Post
David T. Fagan has eight kids and his oldest daughter is a senior in high school–and he hasn’t saved a penny for his children’s college education. But Fagan isn’t stressing. In fact, Fagan says he would prefer it if his children didn’t go to college at all.
They probably won't go to college.
The top scientist guiding the U.S. government’s nutrition recommendations made an admission last month that would surprise most Americans. Low-fat diets, Alice Lichtenstein said, are “probably not a good idea.” It was a rare public acknowledgment conceding the failure of the basic principle behind 35 years of official American nutrition advice.
I'm vindicated, unintentionally.
A 53-year-old Colorado man who went missing during Thursday’s San Diego Chargers-Denver Broncos game at Sports Authority Field has been found and is safe. The Denver Post reported Paul Kitterman was found Tuesday in Pueblo near a furniture store.
He was a Broncos fan.
Pope Francis amassed international popularity through stunning and progressive statements that put him at odds with the conservative wing of the Catholic Church. On Tuesday, he similarly put himself at odds with a significant portion of Americans by saying he believed in evolution, not creationism — an idea 42 percent of Americans espouse.
“When we read about creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said. “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.” He added: “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
Mr. McCoy is just an idiot. The Catholic Church has not opposed evolution in a very long time. Most of the Americans who don't "believe" in it are probably Baptists or something. I believe in evolution the same way I believe in erosion; you just have to look around. There are still metaphysical issues, however.
‘SIX SECONDS TO FAILURE.’ The Antares rocket-launch disaster on the front page. - The Washington Post
A fiery explosion caused by an unknown “catastrophic anomaly” destroyed hundreds of millions worth of technology, supplies and equipment that was headed to the International Space Station on Tuesday night.
That didn't go well. Cool video though.
It’s late Saturday night on the streets of San Diego. People dressed head-to-toe in superhero outfits are patrolling the streets. With names like “Midnight Highwayman,” “Freedom Fighter” and “Vigilante Spider,” members of this citizen patrol group hope to make the streets safer.
TaxProf Blog: Thomas Jefferson Law School Reaches Agreement With Its Bondholders, Reduces Debt by $87 Million and Continues Operations
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Federal clarity about Ebola quarantine policy eluded President Obama on Tuesday, as he sought in a hastily arranged statement to both reassure Americans and postpone answers about why the Pentagon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as key states apply different limitations on the movement of those entering the United States from West African epicenters of the virus.
Sort of a literal laboratory of federalism.
California Leads Housing Slowdown As Case-Shiller Home Prices Decline For 4 Months In A Row | Zero Hedge
Following misses in yesterday's Markit Service PMI, Existing Home Sales and the Dallas Fed report, and today's Durable Goods numbers, we just made it a pentafecta for misses in US econ data, when the just released August Case-Shiller data for August confirmed once again that US housing is rapidly slowing down, when the Top 20 Composite Index (Seasonally Adjusted) posted another decline in August, its fourth in a row, declining by -0.15% and missing expectations of a modest 0.2% rebound (following last month's -0.5%) decline. The best summary of the situation came from S&P's David Blitzer: "The deceleration in home prices continues... The Sun Belt region reported its worst annual returns since 2012, led by weakness in all three California cities -- Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego." But who cares what the birth (and death) place of every housing bubble is doing, right?
The New York Times has a disturbing article on asset seizures by the Internal Revenue Service. To summarize: There is a rule requiring banks to report cash transactions over $10,000. This facilitates the detection and prosecution of tax cheats and drug dealers. A lot of paperwork is involved, which banks don’t like, so perfectly legitimate people frequently structure their deposits to get around the requirement. This sort of structuring is also illegal, and when the IRS suspects it’s happening, then poof! They take your account. The people who are profiled by the Times are small business owners who acquired the money by perfectly legitimate means, and do not seem to be cheating on their taxes, or otherwise breaking the law.
My father was so paranoid about the IRS he would not take the deductions for the charitable contributions he made. Now he seems reasonable.
Any ambiguity about whether Douthat was merely predicting a schism or actively threatening one was settled with his column this past Sunday, in which he weighed in on the recently concluded Synod on Marriage and the Family. The synod was chaotic, with reformist bishops (handpicked by the pope) at first seeming to propose significant alterations in church teaching on marriage, divorce, and homosexuality, and then backing off after an outcry from more conservative prelates. After discussing these events and the history of the doctrine of papal infallibility, Douthat concluded that a time may soon come when conservative Catholics will have to decide whether or not to "protect the church from self-contradiction" by choosing to "resist" the pope.
With that remark, the culture war has finally come to the Catholic Church.
TaxProf Blog: Tax Revolving Door Enriches Former IRS Officials Who Cash in by Navigating Inversions Through Rules They Wrote
Monday, October 27, 2014
American and British combat operations formally came to an end in Helmand province, one of the bloodiest theaters in the U.S.-led war against the Taliban and a primary focus of Obama's 2010 surge of tens of thousands of American reinforcements charged with beating back the revitalized insurgency.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Billy Joel sat smoking a cigarillo on a patio overlooking Oyster Bay. He had chosen the seating area under a trellis in front of the house, his house, a brick Tudor colossus set on a rise on the southeastern tip of a peninsula called Centre Island, on Long Island’s North Shore. It was a brilliant cloudless September afternoon. Beethoven on Sonos, cicadas in the trees, pugs at his feet. Out on the water, an oyster dredge circled the seeding beds while baymen raked clams in the flats. Joel surveyed the rising tide. Sixty-five. Semi-retirement. Weeks of idleness, of puttering around his motorcycle shop and futzing with lobster boats, of books and dogs and meals, were about to give way to a microburst of work. His next concert, his first in more than a month, was scheduled to begin in five hours, at Madison Square Garden, and he appeared to be composing himself.
Read the whole thing. Just kidding.
President Obama on Thursday was updated with information about a doctor who treated Ebola patients in Guinea, flew to New York more than a week ago and tested positive for the virus after being isolated in a Manhattan hospital with a fever and gastrointestinal illness.
Maybe it wasn't such a great idea for the doc to be flying commercial back to NYC? I know I would be a bit irritated if I found out he was on my flight, what with rebreathing the air and all that. I know I can't catch it that way. I hope I'm not a racist.
If Colorado is serving as a model for anything these days, it’s the risks of Democratic overreach. Sen. Mark Udall has trailed GOP Rep. Cory Gardner in every poll since September. Gov. John Hickenlooper is trailing Republican Bob Beauprez in poll averages. Republicans are poised to take back the state Senate. Democrats recently pulled funding from the only Colorado U.S. House seat they had targeted, that of GOP Rep. Mike Coffman.
During the prelude to the American Revolution, colonial leaders regularly denied that Parliament had any authority over them while acknowledging their subjection to King George III and appealing to him to intervene in the growing conflict. In his July 1774 pamphlet “A Summary View of the Rights of British America,” Thomas Jefferson proposed that the king revive the royal veto, which no monarch had used since Queen Anne in 1708. In October 1774, the Continental Congress petitioned the king, claiming to “wish not a diminution of [his] prerogative” but seeking the repeal of the Coercive Acts. After the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, it again entreated him to act in what is known as the Olive Branch Petition. All the while, its members continued to drink toasts to the health of the king, and it was common to refer to British soldiers in America as the “Ministerial Army” or the “Parliament Troops.”
This looks like a good book and I shall certainly order it up into my virtual library space, where moths and vermin do not etc. etc. It looks a bit like the usual scholarly move of claiming that the elephant is indeed very like a snake, but that's OK.
These shows of calculated outrage — and thus distance — are becoming not just unconvincing but unamusing. In our system, the president is both head of state and head of government. Obama seems to enjoy the monarchial parts, but when it comes to the actual business of running government, he shows little interest and even less aptitude.
CK is so good. I would not otherwise have noticed this quite so much.
There's a rather famous case in fiduciary duty law about the Northeast Harbor Golf Club in Maine. It seems some members of the board of the club also invested in property around the club which they then planned to develop, real estate wise. Some members of the club were upset and sued. As a non-member of the golf playing, old money northeastern elite, you may wonder why I cared. At the time of this case, however, I was a footloose and fancy free associate at the law firm I affectionately referred to as the Covingtron and I was asked to research this matter for the old and crusty partner who was both a member of and representing this golf club. Rumor had it that the partner did little else, but there were rumors about everybody at that firm, most of them false. So I researched the matter and found, quelle surprise, that there was not a lot of fiduciary duty law in Maine. So I thought, actually being a former corporate law professor at the time as well as one to be, this is a matter for the American Law Institute! They have proposed guidelines of fiduciary duty! I proposed the proposal to the partner. He grumbled appreciatively. I heard no more. Then years later, I read that the Maine Supreme Court had adopted the ALI guidelines in their definitive, at least for Maine, case of the same name and of the same matter. And it is a greatly anthologized case. When I read the case I thought, hey, that's my idea! Don't I get a donut, or something? Alas no. The law is a public matter and a public benefit, which means people get to steal your ideas. After all, I stole the idea form the American Law Institute. I would not have known about it had Oregon not stolen the idea from the ALI. They put it out there to be stolen, so I guess its not really stealing. One reason among many I left that firm is that while I generated good ideas, I could not seem to figure out how to take credit for them. We are reading the case yet again for my class on this Tuesday. I'm going to tell this story. Not that anybody will care, except me. If you're looking for the genius of golf law and fiduciary duty law in Maine, that's me. Or passed along the idea, anyway.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE BEN BRADLEE WATERGATE HOOPLA, I should note two things: First, this Watergate m…
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. That, apparently, is Rand Paul’s approach to convincing the political establishment and, perhaps more important, Republican-primary voters, that he is not an isolationist.
No, he's an opthamologist.
The force now dooming the ability of fixers like Mr. Klain to succeed at bending reality is the Web.
The political Web is today a nonstop exercise in skepticism and cynicism. True, on the outskirts of the political Web lie the fever swamps. But compulsive Web skepticism about official narratives seems to be reviving the get-the-story instincts of traditional reporting, or what used to be known as assembling a simple set of facts.
Henniger's columns often contain unexpected insights as this one does.
Chaldean Catholic patriarch suspends 10 priests, including 1 from El Cajon - 10News.com KGTV ABC10 San Diego
SAN DIEGO - The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church has suspended 10 priests, including one from El Cajon.
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako issued a decree a month ago, demanding the priests return to Iraq or be suspended. Wednesday was the deadline.
The priests, though, are refusing to leave and are now waiting on Pope Francis to tell them what to do next.
A friend of mine who teaches at an affluent, competitive high school on Chicago’s North Shore says that many parents have simply checked out. “These kids act like they’re 23, but they have the emotional intelligence of a 12-year-old. They can hold doors open for people, but they can’t cope with even minimal conflict in their life. Their parents have made sure that they don’t feel any awkwardness, ever.” When it comes to things like SAT scores, he notes, parents are on top of it like Yogi Bear with a stolen picnic basket. When it comes to moral questions, they’re happy to let technology—like, say, the $600 phone with unlimited access to porn—take the lead.
We don't know any parents like this. Perhaps because we live in the less affluent part of town.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Goats are shrinking as a result of climate change, researchers have claimed.
They say Alpine goats now weigh about 25 per cent less than animals of the same age in the 1980s.
Researchers say it is a stark indication of how quickly climate change can affect animals.
Pew survey: “Consistent liberals” most likely to block others on social media for disagreeing with them politically « Hot Air
The video of O’Keefe’s encounters with other operatives is equally disturbing. He has a conversation with Greenpeace employee Christina Topping, and suggests he might have access to unused ballots from people who have recently moved out of college fraternity houses. “I mean it is putting the votes to good use,” she responds. “So really, truly, like yeah, that is awesome.”
The next message, sent moments later, is supposedly her warning friends and family not to make the same mistake she did, using social media to report on organized crime, because “there is no point.” The message after that is a warning to her followers and to three prominent citizen journalists that the cartels “are closer to us than you think.” The last message sent from Felina’s account is not written but rather consists of two photos: in the first, a middle-aged woman keeps her hands folded in front of her and looks directly at the camera; in the second the same woman is lying on a dirty floor with a coup de grace bullet wound in the face. The founder of Valor por Tamaulipas confirmed that the photos are of Felina. Twitter has since shut down her account.
The State of California is now calling their bluff. California’s Department of Managed Health Care has ordered all insurance plans in the state to immediately begin covering elective abortion. Not Plan B. Not contraceptives. Elective surgical dismemberment abortion.
'Not Sure' When He Became a Doctor: Young CBS Producer Deletes Tweet Mocking Rand Paul's Medical Opinion
Katy Conrad is a booker and producer with CBS This Morning, but conservatives quickly made fun of her on Twitter when she mocked Rand Paul's medical opinion, as if he was a doctor. (Oops, he is -- an opthalmologist, to be precise.)
She's a lot cuter than Rand Paul.
Both books restage marriage as a violent crime—an abduction. An independent, expressive single woman is taken from New York; her beautiful body is disfigured, or threatened with disfigurement; and her accomplishments are systematically taken away or negated, rendered worthless by comparison to that all-trumping colossus of meaning, childbirth. (Clearly, many women find happiness in much this way; but, equally clearly, many of them don’t and can’t.) These narratives speak less to the specific challenges of having a sociopath for a child or a spouse than to the pathology of the unstated assumptions that we all pass along and receive. They speak to the revelation lying in wait for women when they hit the ages of marriageability and childbirth: that their carefully created and manicured identities were never the point; the point was for it all to be sacrificed to children and to men.
So don't get married. Geez. Also, I'd be willing to bet not that many former NYC resident, now married women feel like they've been abducted and betrayed.
Larry O. Fischer, husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, mentor, friend and business partner, set up hunting camp in Heaven's backcountry, on the afternoon of October 18, 2014. He was sent on his journey surrounded by his entire family at home, after an undaunted and often humor-filled 14 month battle with pancreatic cancer.
VIRGINIA POSTREL: Oscar de la Renta’s Last Stand Against Slobs. “Once liberating, the drive toward informal attire, exemplified by hoodies in Silicon Valley, flip flops in Los Angeles, and sweaters on state visits, has become a new form of oppressive conformity. Dressing down is de rigueur. De la Renta stood against that trend. Now that he’s gone, perhaps there’s an opportunity for a transgressive young designer to do something really daring: Get us to dress up again.”
I think there's a lot to be said for a niceish shirt and khakis. Some of my students seem to be enjoying my Hawaiian shirts. It's a nice thing not to have to think about.
The incredible cost savings that are possible when patients can actually shop around - The Washington Post
Researchers looked specifically at how pricing information influenced consumer behavior for advanced imaging services (like MRIs), CT scans and clinician office visits. Consumers had access to prices through Castlight's transparency platform, so they could see out-of-pocket costs for services based on the design of their health plan and their deductible status — eliminating the guess work of what they might have to pay. The Castlight researchers then compared spending habits of those who did and didn't use the platform.
Laugh or cry, your choice.
This research unexpectedly revealed that ancient Europeans started dairying thousands of years before they evolved genes to make the most of milk in adulthood, investigators added.
I love milk. That's probably my ancestor you're looking at.
I ask you, how long until Americans recognized they're no less equipped to disrupt politics and government? How soon before we stop settling for an inferior product in Washington and at statehouses? When do we demand more and better from the Democratic and Republican parties—or create new political organizations that usurp the old?
It would suit me.