Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rush Limbaugh and Lay's potato chips:

For real, here's the transcript: (emp add)
RUSH: We have a 12-year-old young man from Petal, Mississippi, on the phone named Trent. And, Trent, welcome to the program. Glad that you called. How are you?

CALLER: I'm doing good. How are you?

RUSH: Well, I'm cool. I'm doing well today. Thank you.

CALLER: Well, I have a question.

RUSH: Well, you've called the right place.

CALLER: Ever since Obama's been elected, I used to buy chip bags at the store and they used to be all the way full, but now they're only half full. Why is that?

RUSH: Really? What kind of chips are we talking about here?

CALLER: Potato chips.

RUSH: What brand?

CALLER: The Lay's kind.

RUSH: The Lay's kind. So you're buying Lay's potato chips, and the bag is only half full now?

CALLER: Yes, that is correct.

RUSH: Since Obama was elected?


RUSH: Well, you know, I'm glad you told me. I eat potato chips, but I never see the bag. When I get 'em, they're already out of the bag.


RUSH: But this doesn't surprise me. Have you mentioned this to your parents?

CALLER: Yes, I have.

RUSH: What do they think?

CALLER: They really don't know.

RUSH: They really don't know.

CALLER: So I decided to call you and ask.

RUSH: Well, I think you're on to something. You're in Mississippi, and I don't think the mayor of New York has anything to do with what happens in Mississippi yet, but this is a toughie. Have you made this assessment on every bag of potato chips that you bought?

CALLER: Most of them.

RUSH: Most of them.

CALLER: Well, honestly, Trent, if what you say is true, it could be a sneaky way for them to avoid having to increase the published price. I don't know. See, the problem is, I don't know what the price for your bag of Lay's potato chips is today versus last year or --

CALLER: I think they've gone up about two dollars.

RUSH: Well, then my theory is wrong. The price has gone up two dollars, and the amount of potato chips in there has been cut in half?


RUSH: It sounds to me like the Lay's people, the potato chip people are hoarding product, anticipating, perhaps, economic drought, potato famine, maybe the Obama administration banning potato chips somewhere. Michelle would be the one to do that and they're just trying to save the product so they have supply. It could be that it's really not happening. It could just be that the contents of the bags are being shipped a longer distance to your store. In the process, they're settling more in the bag, making it look like the bag is only half full when it really isn't. Now, do you have a theory? Have you evolved a theory of your own to explain this?

CALLER: No, not really.

RUSH: But you think it's got something to do with Obama?

CALLER: Yes, I do, because he's raised the price of everything, and the quality and the quantity of stuff has gone down.

RUSH: Well.

CALLER: So I think it's because of Obama.

RUSH: Well, that's hard to disagree with. Obama is not personally in charge of the price, but the things that have happened to the country economically have resulted in the cost of everything going up.


RUSH: For a host of reasons. Well, are you eating fewer potato chips now? Are your parents buying fewer bags.

CALLER: No. They're buying the same amount, but there just aren't as many in there.

RUSH: Well, if your parents don't have a problem, just buy more bags.

CALLER: Yes, sir. Thank you.

RUSH: All right.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Rupert Murdoch's New York Post on Romney in England:

Editorial: (emp add)
If Mitt Romney’s trip abroad is meant to burnish his foreign-policy bona fides, he’s off to a reasonably good start — even if the usual boo-birds are painting his remarks in London yesterday as a gaffe. ...

Of much more significance is what Romney said later: “I’m looking forward to the bust of Winston Churchill being in the Oval Office again.”

That would be the bust meant to celebrate — and cement — the special relationship that has informed US-British relations for a century or more.

The bust that was a gift to the American people from Britain in the wake of 9/11 — meant to recall America’s succor as night was falling across Europe in 1940.
If a foreigner came to the United States and bitched about all sorts of things, would a subsequent statement about wanting to have a portrait of George Washington on the wall quell the outrage? Or would it look like a phony gesture of sympathy?


Ornstein and Mann - still being ignored:

Some musing by Francis Wilkinson at Bloomberg:
Republican Extremism and Intransigence: Not Newsworthy

For decades, Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute have occupied the bull's eye at the center of the middle of Washington centrism.

So it's pretty amazing that they can drop a book like "It's Even Worse Than It Looks" smack in the center (sorry) of an election year and cause so few political ripples. ...

[Ornstein and Mann write:]
The Republican Party, has become an insurgent outlier -- ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
It's hard to imagine a more wholesale indictment from two eminent political scientists, each with a decades-long track record of nonpartisan analysis. It's equally hard to imagine the press quietly absorbing a similarly pedigreed indictment of the Democratic Party; the elite press, in particular, would likely talk of nothing else. Yet mainstream news outlets, while giving the authors fairly prominent play, seem to treat the their thesis as neither new nor news.

What gives?

Perhaps it's the soft bigotry of low expectations. The most anguish over the state of the Republican Party seems to flow from conservatives in varied states of excommunication, such as David Frum, Bruce Bartlett and a cadre of smart, young writers who object to the empowered-state vision of Democrats but can't abide the devolution of the Republicans. Many liberals, having perhaps never given sufficient credence to conservative thought in the first place, regard the book's premise with a knowing shrug. Elected Republicans, naturally, dismiss the book as partisan hackery (though former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel gave it an enthusiastic blurb). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, with characteristic deference to facts, denounced the authors as "ultra, ultra liberal." But the authors -- and their centrist disposition -- are well known. Perhaps their thesis is, too. It's just that no one knows what can be done about it, or by whom.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Twitter exchange following Romney advisor's "Anglo-Saxon" remarks:


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Only in America:

At Inside Edition:

If a maniac opens fire inside a movie theater, what could you do to get out alive?

Safety expert and former NYPD captain, Peter Marino told INSIDE EDITION, "You need to remain calm and maintain a low profile so as not to attract a shooter's attention."

At the bloodbath in Colorado, theater-goers ran for their lives. Marino, however, said running might not always be the best choice.

INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander asked, "So I'm watching the film, and I sense something is wrong. What do I do?"

"Megan, I want you to get down. Get on the floor. Make yourself low. I want you to conceal yourself from the line of sight of the shooter," replied Marino.

He told INSIDE EDITION, safety should be on your mind from the moment you enter the theater.

"Where should I sit?" Alexander asked.

"Well, where you sit is not as important as what you do before you sit down. What you need to know is your surroundings. Before the lights are turned off, I want you to know where the exits are, where there are places that you might hide," said Marino.

Alexander asked, "What else can I do?"

"Remember, concealment is key," said Marino, and suggested hiding behind the curtains.

Just like they say in the safety promos in theaters, "Please use the exit nearest you in an emergency."

INSIDE EDITION's security expert Steve Kardian said, it's good advice.

"Sit in a place near an exit. Notice all the other exits. Notice how many people are in the theater. Notice what your nearest exit is, and keep that in the back of your head, should there be a time that you have to leave quickly," said Kardian.

At The Dark Knight Rises massacre, movie-goers thought at first that the gunman was part of the show. Our expert says, if something strange or unexpected happens, be leery.

Kardian told INSIDE EDITION, "Believe your eyes and ears. If you believe you're in danger, you are. If you hear gunshots, it likely is. Remove yourself from the scene, and get as far away as you can."


Friday, July 20, 2012

100% right:

Garance Franke-Ruta on the recent news:
The age of new media being now well-established, it goes a little something like this:

First we get the shaky camera phone videos and the tweets. Then the distraught eyewitness interviews and 911 call recording. Quickly, the shooter is identified. Politicians issue statements of shock and sorrow. The shooter's parents, if interviewed, are confused and abashed or else hide. The social media forensics begin. People with the same or a similar name as the shooter are harassed. There is speculation he is part of a right-wing group, or an Islamic terrorist, or a former Army veteran. The FBI and the armed forces check their records and issue denials or confirmations. Calls for better gun control efforts are issued once again. Defenders of the Second Amendment fight back immediately, or even pre-emptively. The victims of the shooting are blamed in social media for being where they were attacked. More eye-witness interviews. The shooter's parents are castigated. Survivors speak. Warning signs are identified as the alleged shooter's past is plumbed. We ask if violent movies are to blame for his actions. Or cuts to mental-health services. And talk about what kind of country we are, if we have culture of violence. The death toll fluctuates. International voices from countries where guns are heavily regulated shake their heads at us. People leave piles of flowers and teddy bears at the shooting site. There are candlelight vigils, and teary memorials. Everyone calls for national unity and a moment of togetherness. Eventually, the traumatized community holds a big healing ceremony. It is moving, and terribly sad, and watched by millions on TV or online. A few activists continue to make speeches. The shooter, if still alive, rapidly is brought to trial. There is another wave of public discussion about our failures, and the nature of evil. Politicians make feints at gun-law changes, which fail. And then everyone forgets and moves on. Everyone, that is, except the survivors.
Which is why I'm not following this story (at least beyond the basic outline.)


Where we'll end up eventually:

From ABC news:
Judge Nearly Stopped Tenn. Mosque Construction

A Muslim congregation fighting for two years to open its new mosque won a round in federal court order just in time, because a Tennessee judge was intending to stop construction, according a court order filed Friday.

Members of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro are pushing to get into their new 12,000-square-foot building before the holy month of Ramadan, which began at sundown Thursday, ends in August.

Opponents have waged a two-year court battle to stop them, challenging the county's approval of the mosque building plan. They have claimed in court that Islam isn't a true religion and that local Muslims want to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and replace it with Islamic religious law.
We should hear more calls that Islam isn't a "true religion", because let's face it, that's what they really believe.


Friday, July 13, 2012

What might be politically potent this election:

Romney was sole shareholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer, President, and managing director of Bain Capital when it invested in a company that was involved in disposing of aborted fetuses.
That won't get people to vote for Obama, but it might turn off a lot of conservatives who would ordinarily vote (perhaps reluctantly) for Romney.


Saturday, July 07, 2012

Still here:

But very busy and unable to blog for a while. Also, something about the news lately defies analysis. The Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare didn't change the existing political dynamic. The economy is neither up nor down. Foreign affairs are reasonably stable. Everybody is tired of hearing about Mitt Romney's money. Etc.

The only interesting news was that the announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson was made in Comic Sans font.