How to explain the national frenzy over a New Jersey scandal?
What a bizarre spectacle. Assuming he did not lie during his marathon news conference last week, the feeding frenzy surrounding New Jersey governor Chris Christie will be remembered as one of those incredibly odd moments of elite journalistic hysteria that are difficult to explain to people who weren’t there or didn’t get it.
I’m not referring to the scandal itself; that’s easy enough to understand. What Christie’s team did was outrageous and deserves as much foofaraw and brouhaha as the New Jersey media can muster.
What’s harder to grok is the hysteria at the national level.
slurp noodles and welcome their new Japanese Overlords are furious about the sale of their beloved Jim Beam to a company in Japan, a suspiciously safe, sake-drinking, abnormally clean and polite society, a foreign country where vending machines sell underpants, executives get drunk and throw up in train stations, and nobody understands American whiskey…
[See also: Sugoi! Oishii! Japan’s Suntory buys Jim Beam]
Michelle Lynn Dinh reports: Nothing quite screams “USA! USA!” like a glass of Kentucky bourbon; it is “America’s only native spirit” afterall. Maybe that’s why patriotic fans of the beverage have taken to the Twittersphere in protest of Japanese company, Suntory, purchasing Beam, Inc., the distillers of American classics, Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark. The $13.6 billion deal was announced on January 13 and was followed by a flurry of angry messages claiming the Illinois-based company had “sold out.” Let’s take a look at the angriest of the bunch. Read the rest of this entry »
Liu Xia was confined to her own home after Liu Xiaobo, her Nobel prize-winning husband, was jailed for helping to author a pro-democracy manifesto in 2008
A rare and haunting video showing the wife of Liu Xiaobo, China’s jailed Nobel laureate, reciting poetry while under house arrest in Beijing has been released by supporters.
Liu Xia, whose pro-democracy campaigner husband was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2009 for “inciting subversion”, has never been charged or convicted of any crime.
However, the painter, poet and writer, has been held under house arrest for the last three years and the two-minute video represents a rare “public” appearance.
The video, which was shown on Tuesday evening in New York at a screening for activists and writers, shows Ms Liu reading two of her poems inside what appears to be her study.
On the desk before her lies a pen, a notepad…
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[VIDEO] Curiously, CNN Reporter Appears High on Weed During Segment on What? Where Were We? Oh yeah. MarijuanaPosted: January 15, 2014
Via Gawker, if you can’t watch the whole thing, skip to 4:00 to see why last night Anderson Cooper called this the greatest live hit the show’s ever done. My favorite moment is that big, bright, glassy-eyed smile at 5:15. (Second-favorite: The thoughtful explanation of the difference between sativa and indica.) The question here isn’t whether she’s high — the symptoms she describes are familiar even to non-users (losing her train of thought, finding things unusually funny, etc) — but whether she could have gotten this giggly from a contact high, i.e. from second-hand smoke without taking a hit herself. Answer: Yes, if she was around lots and lots of it. A single joint won’t do much to a bystander; 16 joints might. According to Kaye, she was riding around in the close confines of a limo all day with veteran potheads smoking blunts as big as cannons. Contact-high verdict: Plausible.
Greg Gutfeld writes: Maybe, when you were younger and dumber, you had some questionable friends. They dabbled in illegality. They weren’t dependable. They often needed you to bail them out of trouble. They stole stuff…sometimes your stuff. They never paid for gas, and when they did, it’s because they borrowed your car without telling you and ran it into a tree.
Some had incendiary beliefs, and you only tolerated them because you were young, impressionable, and apathetic. They were fun to drink with or do drugs with, but you wouldn’t trust them with your sister.
Now we jump ahead–and you find yourself in a position of power. You’re successful. You have gained a lot (in both material and non-material things), so now you have a lot to lose.
What do you do with the old friends–the ones who could make you look really, really bad? Do you continue to embrace the friendship, or briskly walk away, like a man leaving a bar he’s decided is either too rough or too smelly?
David Rogers reports: House-Senate negotiators rolled out a $1.1 trillion spending bill Monday night — a giant package that fills in the blanks of the December budget agreement and promises to restore some order to government funding over the next year.
Under pressure from Republicans, the measure keeps a tight rein on new funding for Wall Street regulators and effectively freezes appropriations for President Barack Obama’s health care program at the reduced, post-sequester level.
A naked woman wearing a pair of angel wings was arrested early yesterday after police spotted her walking on an Arkansas street.
Christine Lawrence, 47, was busted for indecent exposure after a pair of Mountain Home Police Department officers responded to a 3:20 AM call about “a female walking down the middle of the road with nothing on besides angel wings,” according to a police report.
When one patrolman sought to speak with Lawrence, she fled into her nearby Circle Drive residence. As Lawrence was subsequently being arrested, she struggled with police, leading to an additional charge of resisting arrest.
The police report does not indicate why Lawrence was promenading in her birthday suit, though yesterday happened to be her birthday.
Seen in the above mug shot, Lawrence was booked into the Baxter County jail on the two misdemeanor charges. She remains locked up in lieu of $790 bond, and is scheduled for a February 4 court appearance.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney isn’t quite ready to say good-bye to the holiday break — and he has the beard to prove it.
Stepping up to the podium for his first press briefing in over two weeks, Carney surprised reporters with a scruffy post-holiday beard.
Viva La Resistance!
Talking 11 month old husky, Blaze, prefers his freedom and says “No” to his kennel. Literally, says no.
WARNING: This video is unbearably cute. Profoundly, almost intolerably adorable. Proceed at your own risk.
h/t Daily Caller
John Fund writes: As recently as 1998, New York State’s Republican party controlled the governorship, a United States Senate seat, and the mayor’s office in Manhattan. Today, it is greatly diminished, with its sole beachhead of influence in the state senate, where it shares a majority with four independent Democrats.
In contrast, the Working Families party (WFP), a 15-year-old left-wing, union-fueled group with just 20,000 members, now holds the whip hand over much of the dominant Democratic party in New York — and is already spreading its wings to other states. The WFP not only was a major force behind Bill de Blasio’s victory for mayor last November; it dominated the rest of the election, too. “They propelled all three citywide officials in New York City into office, and have a huge chunk of the city council allied with them,” says Hank Sheinkopf, a leading Democratic consultant who has worked for Hillary Clinton. “They are a real force.”
While it’s certainly been a cold winter stateside, our neighbors to the north know what a real chill actually looks like. Reddit user Unspeakablefilth lives in Northwestern Ontario, where the averaged a daytime high was -25 degrees celsius or colder for about a month.
China is preparing to surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy, in purchasing power parity terms (using China’s grossly exaggerated economic figures). Already its economy is supposedly 80% the size of the US, and if current growth rate differentials persist, it could possibly take China only about four more years to surpass the US .
At market exchange rates, China’s GDP is much smaller, and is expected to remain less than the US until 2028. This is hardly surprising. After all, China has four times as many people as the US; if every Chinese worker were to earn the US minimum wage, its GDP would be larger than the US. That is not a very high bar. With that economic size comes military power and global cultural clout.
China’s awe-inspiring rise is often framed as the return to a historical norm. A common belief is that…
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I just had this conversation recently, about how few people are alert and informed about what their rights are, and can act accordingly (and respectfully). When confronted by a law enforcement official it’s easy to be intimidated. Easy to be misled. Or simply not confident enough to manage the encounter and be your own best advocate.
I saw a YouTube video recently featuring a young, hyper-informed law student who’d been detained by a cop, simply for legally carrying a pistol (in a state where open carry is permitted) because a passerby spotted it and it made them uncomfortable. Then complained to the police about seeing a man walking down the sidewalk with a gun on his belt and thought the somebody better look into it.
A policeman (who clearly didn’t understand the law any better than the complaining citizen did) confronted the guy, detained him, and had him surrender the weapon. Not realizing his detainee was fully aware of his rights, and with no shortage of confidence. The cop was stubborn, and confused. The law student was agitated, impatient (but not rude or abusive) and had complete verbal control of the situation. Arguing, citing case law, refusing to cooperate, not even giving his name. (news to me, you’re not required to give your name just because a cop is curious, if you’re not under arrest, and you’re obeying the law. This law student flat-out refused to identify himself to the cop) The whole incident captured on video. It’s brilliant. More on this in a moment… back to Theodore Dalrymple:
Theodore Dalrymple writes: Don’t be intimidated by police at your door. These rules will help protect your rights and improve your odds of avoiding a home search.
No Warrant, No Search!
The Supreme Court has ruled that the home is entitled to maximum search protection. Even if they have probable cause to believe something illegal is going on inside your home, the 4th Amendment requires police to get a signed search warrant from a judge to legally enter and search.
Clip from the DVD, 10 Rules for Dealing with Police
Besides Founding a Nation, Collecting Books, and French Wine, Thomas Jefferson also Designed a Pasta MachinePosted: January 15, 2014
Drawing of a macaroni machine, with a sectional view showing holes through which dough could be extruded, by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson became interested in pasta and other exotic foodstuffs as a result of his travels…
Holy Macaroni, what didn’t this guy do?
Drawing: Wikimedia Commons
Amazon has this fine book: Dining at Monticello: In Good Taste and Abundance (Distributed for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation)
For a more involved take on this, with sources, references, and even a Jefferson macaroni recipe, there’s a wonderful blog post at acenewsservices.com – “Thomas Jefferson the President and the Cook”:
“Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), principal author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United states, acquired a taste for continental cooking while serving as American minister to France in the 1780′s. When he returned to the United States in 1790 he brought with him a French cook and many recipes for French, Italian, and other au courant cookery. Jefferson not only served his guests the best European wines, but he liked to dazzle them with delights such as ice cream, peach flambe, macaroni, and macaroons. This drawing of a macaroni machine, with the sectional view showing holes from which dough could be extruded, reflects Jefferson’s curious mind and his interest and aptitude in mechanical matters…”
Reporting by by Adam Goldman and Anne Gearan: A long-delayed Senate intelligence committee report released on Wednesday spreads blame among the State Department and intelligence agencies for not preventing attacks on two outposts in Libya that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
The bipartisan report lays out more than a dozen findings regarding the assaults on Sept. 11 and 12, 2012 on the diplomatic compound and a CIA annex in the Libyan city of Benghazi. It says the State Department failed to increase security at the sites despite warnings, and faults intelligence agencies for not sharing information about the existence of the CIA outpost with the U.S. military.
The committee determined that the U.S. military command in Africa didn’t know about the CIA annex and didn’t have the resources to defend the diplomatic compound in an emergency.
“The attacks were preventable, based on extensive intelligence reporting on the terrorist activity in Libya—to include prior threats and attacks against Western targets—and given the known security shortfalls at the U.S. Mission,” the panel said in a statement.
In a rare TV interview, Tim Cook described this week’s launch of the iPhone on China Mobile as “a watershed day” for the company. While the soft-spoken Apple CEO is noted for the humbleness with which he speaks, it’s hard to imagine him describing Apple as being “honored” to do business with many other companies.
“I’m so honored to be doing business with … China Mobile. It’s a huge announcement…we’re incredibly impressed with them, we have deep respect for them, and have had from the very first discussion that we’ve had together” …
The Ruger SR40 is a striker-fired handgun that offers a host of unique features, exceptional reliability, great ergonomics, and excellent accuracy. It is also modestly priced, with an MSRP of only $525.
Steve Gash, from Gun Digest writes: Recently, the SR40 and SR40c were introduced in the super-popular .40 Smith & Wesson cartridge. This makes a lot of sense, since many justifiably think any defensive caliber ought to begin with a “4.”
Both frame sizes have their place, depending on the intended use. The compact models shave about .64-inch off the barrel and 3.1 ounces off the weight of the standard models. This is not to say the standard models are big. They’re not, but they are a bit larger than the compacts. All four versions have a coordinated set of synergetic features that produce a comfortable, efficient, and reliable shooting system.
The Ruger SR40 is striker-fired and offers a host of unique features, exceptional reliability, great ergonomics, and excellent accuracy. (I might mention that it is also modestly priced, with an MSRP of only $525.)
It features a glass-filled nylon grip frame. The pistol fits my hand like a glove, and—praise be—its angle is exactly the same as a 1911, important to those of us trained on the old .45. When I raise the SR40 to shooting position, the sights are pointed right at the target.
My reaction to stories like this is “Oh come on, who hasn’t done that…”
A Louisiana man who allegedly called 911 dispatchers to say that he needed a woman turned out to be an convicted sex offender according to police who took him into custody.
Of his “emergency” request for a date on Saturday night, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said that,
(note: you have to imagine this spoken by a law enforcement official with a Louisiana accent. Are you imagining it? Okay, here goes…)
“We are guessing he wasn’t looking for one to come and run his criminal history, but that is what he got.”
The responding deputy reportedly determined that the man was a non-compliant sex offender from New Orleans who was considered out of compliance because he failed to notify authorities of his new address — as required by state law — when he moved to the local area.
This week, over 200 million people have begun traveling home to celebrate the spring festival, chunjie, or Chinese New Year, part of the world’s biggest annual mass migration which invariably strains the country’s transportation system with days-long traffic jams, flight delays, and near-riots over sold-out train tickets.
This year should be especially bad. Transportation officials estimate that China’s 1.3 billion people will take an average of three trips each by rail, air, and road over the 40 day period that marks the holiday, for a record total of 3.62 billion trips (link in Chinese). That’s 200 million more trips than last year.
I remember this episode. One of the highlights of season 4 (before Draper went into alcohol-fueled decline in season 5) when Don’s new Manhattan apartment, new Ad Agency, and hot new French-Canadian replacement wife (who sings, too, ooh la la!) looked like the ingredients for professional success and domestic bliss. And Zou Bisou Bisou made a splash, too. The only person in who didn’t like the performance is Don Draper, but everyone else at the party thought it was sexy as hell.
Though I admire January Jones‘ acting, the Betty character was overexposed. When Draper remarried, I welcomed the introduction of the Megan character as wife #2. Besides being more of a 1960s modern girl, let’s face it, actress Jessica Paré is sexy. Even though this marriage is not destined to succeed, either.
Draper, well, he’s a complicated guy.
For collectors, Amazon has Mad Men: Seasons 1-4
(and if you do get it, order it via this link, or above, it’s like a micro-tip jar that helps support this site)
I have all four. I’ve been collecting them along the way, though I haven’t added season 5 yet. (the Draper-in-decline ‘bummer’ season) Season Six starts this spring. I can’t wait.