Originally posted on TIME:
America is not in decline. The U.S. will have the world’s most formidable military for the foreseeable future. Its economy remains the world’s largest, and its recovery will probably gather more steam in 2015. Its workforce is not aging nearly as quickly as that of Europe, Japan or China. No country has a greater capacity for technological innovation. Almost all the world’s biggest tech companies are based in the U.S. For next-generation cloud computing, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and nanotechnology, bet on the U.S. America has an entrepreneurial culture that celebrates not simply what has been accomplished but also what’s next. There is every reason to be confident that America has a bright 21st century future.
But its foreign policy is a different story. American power is on the wane, a process that will accelerate in 2015. Power is a measure of one’s ability to force others to do things…
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‘Did you tingle?’ Chris Matthews feels that old thrill at WH Christmas party [photo]; Update: Tweet deletedPosted: December 18, 2014
Originally posted on Twitchy:
Tingles all the way!
(Hey, where’d it go? See our update below.)
Isn’t that precious?
It always does.
Time for a Chris-mas carol rewrite:
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Three movie theaters say Paramount Pictures has ordered them not to show Team America: World Police one day after Sony Pictures surrendered to cyberterrorists and pulled The Interview. The famous Alamo Drafthouse in Texas, Capitol Theater in Cleveland, and Plaza Atlanta in Atlanta said they would screen the movie instead of The Interview but Paramount has ordered them to stop. (No reason was apparently given and Paramount hasn’t spoken.) Team America of course features Kim’s father, Kim Jong-Il, as a singing marionette.
Dzhokhar appeared in court under heavy security Thursday ahead of his trial next month for the bombing of the Boston Marathon, telling the judge he was satisfied with his lawyers.
Tsarnaev, wearing gray pants, a black sweater-vest and a tie, was led in handcuffs into a federal courthouse in Boston for a pretrial hearing. It was his first appearance since July 2013.
Asked by the judge whether he had been kept up to speed on the court proceedings, Tsarnaev answered: “Yes, Your Honor.” Asked whether his lawyers were representing him adequately, he said, “They are.” Read the rest of this entry »
Washington State Legislature to Introduce Metal Napkin Dispenser Control Act to Establish Guidelines for Napkin Dispenser Background Checks, Regulate Production and Ownership of Defensive Full-Metal Napkin Dispensers
BURLINGTON, Wash. — Cops are on the hunt for a serial armed robber and police say his last target was a clerk inside the Lafeen’s Donut shop on November 30.
But thanks to a brave store clerk police now have a clear view of the suspect’s face.
Investigators think the same man is responsible for robberies stretching from Burlington to Bellingham.
“It just makes me mad,” said clerk Sara Mora, “It makes me angry.”
Mora was working in the back of the store when she heard a customer walk in.
But when she saw a man guy holding a gun, she did exactly as she was told.
“Right when he flashes his gun I’m like, whoa,” she said. “This is the end of me, my life ends right here.”
The thief made Sara empty the register. But when the suspect turned to cut the phone lines, Sara made her move and armed herself with a metal napkin dispenser.
During the struggle Sara pulled down the suspect’s hood. Investigators said the image of the man captured on video is their best chance to identify the suspect.
“It gives us a very description of who we’re looking for,” said Officer Jed Cates of the Burlington Police Department. “He’s obviously shown that he’s willing to do it, this has occurred 4 times in Bellingham.”
Investigators believe the suspect is responsible for other armed robberies in Bellingham; several were also captured on surveillance video. Read the rest of this entry »
Originally posted on Variety:
A spokesperson for Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema has confirmed that Thursday’s premiere of Sony’s Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy “The Interview” has been canceled in the wake of the ominous message sent by Sony hackers on Tuesday morning. The message threatened a 9/11-style attack on theaters showing the film.
The duo attended last week’s Los Angeles premiere, which was a low-key affair at which interviews were not allowed. Earlier Tuesday, they canceled media appearances including a Buzzfeed Brews conversation, Rogen’s Thursday appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and an interview with both of them on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Wednesday.
[pmc-related-link href=”http://variety.com/2014/film/news/sony-hackers-threaten-911-attack-on-movie-theaters-that-screen-the-interview-1201380712/” type=”See More:” target=”self”]Sony Hackers Threaten 9/11 Attack on Movie Theaters That Screen ‘The Interview’[/pmc-related-link]
Earlier Tuesday evening, Carmike Cinemas said their theaters would not play the movie which is set to open Christmas Day. Sony has given theater owners the option of deciding themselves whether they…
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[VIDEO] THIS WEEK: Taliban Butchers 130 Schoolchildren; Sets Teacher on Fire In Front of Class | LAST WEEK: Hillary Clinton Claims We Need to ‘Empathize With’ Our EnemiesPosted: December 16, 2014
Kyle Smith writes: Bowe Bergdahl. The IRS’s missing e-mails. Lena Dunham. “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Jonathan Gruber. GM and that faulty ignition switch. Andrew Cuomo and that anti-corruption commission. The Secret Service and that White House intruder. Rachel Noerdlinger and her “disabled” son. Rolling Stone and gang rape.
2014 was the year when truth was optional. 2014 was the year when convenient fabrication was the weapon of choice for celebrities, activists, big business and politicians. 2014 was the Year of the Lie.
“In each case, the liars used their powerful positions to intimidate, harass, marginalize or just plain bilk ordinary people who lacked access to a megaphone with which to shout back.”
Mostly the liars didn’t suffer any repercussions for spreading falsehoods, and most didn’t even seem particularly embarrassed when they were exposed.
Activists told us Michael Brown, who was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9, was a “gentle giant” who had his hands in the air and was running away when he was shot.
“Feminists keep saying that there is a ‘larger truth’ here — that we are suddenly living in a rape culture’ in which this hideous crime is widely condoned, even though the rate of forcible rate is at its lowest level in 40 years.”
Video images later showed that he had robbed a convenience store shortly before the police confrontation. Then an autopsy report confirmed that Brown was so close to Officer Darren Wilson that he had gunpowder residue on his hand, and that all of the bullets that hit him came from the front, none from the back. Nor where Brown’s palms raised, according to analysis by forensic pathologist Dr. Judy Melinek.
Protesters shrugged at all of this, declaring they would continue to honor Brown’s memory by chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
“Even if you don’t find that it’s true, it’s a valid rallying cry.”
– Ferguson protester Taylor Gruenloh
“Even if you don’t find that it’s true, it’s a valid rallying cry,” Ferguson protester Taylor Gruenloh told The Associated Press. If a few black-owned businesses get destroyed, and others are forced out of business by rising insurance costs, who cares? At least the protesters feel righteous.
Similarly, we all know rape is a rampant problem in elite-college fraternities, even if the smoking gun turned out to be a toy pistol. After Rolling Stone’s UVA rape story led to protests, vandalism and cancelled donations, the magazine appended a shrug of a disclaimer to the story and continued to publish the 8,000 word opus on its website.
“If a few black-owned businesses get destroyed, and others are forced out of business by rising insurance costs, who cares? At least the protesters feel righteous.”
Feminists keep saying that there is a “larger truth” here — that we are suddenly living in a “rape culture” in which this hideous crime is widely condoned, even though the rate of forcible rate is at its lowest level in 40 years. When such data don’t bear out the narrative, activists rely heavily on anecdotal evidence like the Rolling Stone story — then say false anecdotes don’t matter either.
“We have a society where rapists are given the benefit of the doubt, often despite overwhelming evidence,” wrote Sally Kohn of CNN, adding that “[Feminists] cannot apologize for erring on the side of a fair, compassionate and credulous hearing of a woman’s account.”
Except being “credulous” with a liar means you aren’t being fair to those she is lying about.
If rape accusations serve as a useful weapon against despised groups, it doesn’t matter whether any individual rape story is accurate. Lena Dunham, who said in her book “Not That Kind of Girl” that she was raped at Oberlin College by Barry, the campus’s “resident conservative,” let this lie simmer for months without anyone calling her on it. Then National Review’s Kevin Williamson wrote that a few seconds of Googling led directly to a prominent Republican who was at Oberlin at the same time as Dunham and has the highly unusual name Barry.
This Barry, who was getting increasingly worried that people were whispering that he was a rapist, seemingly had no recourse against Dunham’s lie. Though he has never met her, filing suit would make him a public figure, one forevermore associated with rape (albeit a false accusation thereof). It wasn’t until he began soliciting donations for a legal fund that Dunham’s publisher offered to write a check and Dunham herself finally acknowledged that no “Barry” had sexually assaulted her. She had, she said, merely picked the name as a pseudonym.
So it was just one of those unfortunate coincidences that she happened to accidentally smear an easily identifiable proponent of a political party she despises. Read the rest of this entry »
The facts aren’t on their side
Charles C. W. Cooke writes: Angered by the news that American voters are now more supportive of the Second Amendment than they have been in two decades, the New York Daily News’s Mike Lupica used his weekend column to vent. Over the course of 900 words, Lupica lambasted the public for continuing “to protect gun nuts,” chided the “mouth-breathing” NRA for its murderous myopia, and contended emotively that “there are no words” available to describe the horror of “a recent poll that says a majority of Americans believe it is more important to protect the right to own guns than it is for the government to limit access to guns.”
And then, having established his moral bona fides for all to see, he tried to sneak a brazen lie past his audience:
The flyers on the table feature a picture of a beautiful, smiling girl with a pink bow in her hair, with Christmas and her whole life ahead of her until Adam Lanza walked into her school on a Friday morning with an automatic weapon — the kind of gun we are told must be protected or the Second Amendment is turned into a dishrag — and started shooting.
That Lupica would knowingly write these words should be of great concern to anybody who is concerned with the truth. There were no “automatic” weapons used at Sandy Hook. Rather, Adam Lanza used a standard semi-automatic rifle of the sort that millions upon millions of Americans have in their homes. Moreover, Mike Lupica knows this full well, for on every other occasion he has written about the AR-15, he has described it correctly. In March of 2013, Lupica called for the federal government to ban “a semiautomatic rifle called the AR-15.” A few months later, railing against the same weapon, he explained to his readers that AR-15s are “semi-automatic” — and explained not just once, but twice. Elsewhere, he has proven himself to be more than capable of identifying different gun types when it has suited him to do so. Why, then, the change?
The answer, I suspect, lies in this famously dishonest piece of advice from the Violence Policy Center’s radical founder, Josh Sugarmann:
Assault weapons – just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms – are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons – anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun – can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.
Originally posted on Variety:
Christopher Nolan’s space adventure “Interstellar” has topped $100 million in Imax theaters worldwide since its release on Nov. 5.
The milestone has only been achieved on three other films — “Avatar,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Gravity.”
Warner Bros. is handling the international release and Paramount is handling domestic, where the Imax run concluded on Sunday except for 12 locations. New Line’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” will open at Imax locations on Friday.
Nolan used Imax cameras for more than an hour of “Interstellar” and sequences shot in 35mm film have been digitally re-mastered with Imax technology.
The film is directed by Christopher Nolan, written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, and produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Lynda Obst.
“Interstellar” has grossed more than $621 million at the worldwide box office with $166 million domestically and $455 million internationally.
“Record labels are waiting months for orders that used to get filled in weeks. That is because pressing machines spit out only around 125 records an hour. To boost production, record factories are running their machines so hard—sometimes around the clock—they have to shell out increasing sums for maintenance and repairs.”
But while new LPs hit stores each week, the creaky machines that make them haven’t been manufactured for decades, and just one company supplies an estimated 90% of the raw vinyl that the industry needs. As such, the nation’s 15 or so still-running factories that press records face daily challenges with breakdowns and supply shortages.
“To get more machines, record-plant owners have been scouring the globe for mothballed presses, snapping them up for $15,000 to $30,000, and plunking down even more to refurbish them.”
Their efforts point to a problem now bedeviling a curious corner of the music industry. The record-making business is stirring to life—but it’s still on its last legs. Read the rest of this entry »
Sean Davis writes: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was against government shutdowns before she was for them. Last year, she railed against Republicans and said they wanted to shut down the government in order to prevent food inspections, allow lead into children’s toys manufactured in China, and deform babies through their mothers’ use of unsafe morning sickness pills.
Seriously, she said that:
You’d think that they believe that the government that functions best is a government that doesn’t function at all. So far, they haven’t ended government, but they have achieved the next best thing: shutting the government down. But behind all the slogans of the Tea Party and all the thinly veiled calls for anarchy in Washington, behind all that, there’s a reality.
The American people don’t want the extremist Republican’s bizarre vision of a future without government. They don’t support it. Why? Because the American people know that without government, we would no longer be a great nation with a bright future. The American people know that government matters.
The anarchy gang is quick to malign government, but when was the last time anyone called for regulators to go easier on companies that put lead in children’s toys? Or for food inspectors…(read more)
My, my, my, how things have changed. Now Warren is suddenly a big fan of government shutdowns. She’s such a big fan that she’s trying to orchestrate one all by herself:
Weird. I was told last year that threatening to block a spending bill over one provision was tantamount to treason. I was told that hostage-taking during the budget negotiation process was downright un-American. Read the rest of this entry »
Joel B. Pollak reports: The implosion of The New Republic, pending its move to New York and re-establishment as a “digital media” company, has consumed much of the political commentariat in recent days. The change is deeply mourned by former editors and writers for the publication, many of whom resigned in protest. However, the shift mirrors that of other publications that shifted further left in recent years, only to stumble into commercial failure.
Former publisher Marty Peretz lamented in 2013 that the magazine he sold to Facebook guru Chris Hughes–a key social media operative in Barack Obama’s rise to power–had moved in a nakedly partisan direction, away from its traditional center-left liberalism: “The magazine wasn’t supposed to be a White House siphon….The magazine now seems to live in a space where those ‘little insurrections of the mind’ are unwelcome. It is akin to the atmosphere in many colleges and universities: There are prevailing orthodoxies but they aren’t recognized as such. Mr. Obama himself is the main one. Read the rest of this entry »